During summer heatwaves, public spaces are frequently warmer than human thermal comfort preferences in a majority of Australian Cities. Citizens’ preferences of public space elements and supportive features during heat-stress conditions are under particular focus in this paper. Outdoor activity choices in different thermal environments were surveyed in Adelaide from September 2013 to April 2014. This post-activity survey indicates that necessary, optional and social activities decreased during outdoor heat-stress more than any other thermal conditions. Outdoor activities were chosen the most in neutral and warm thermal environments. Outdoor activity choices were affected significantly by the magnitude of solar radiation. Tree canopy, shading (from buildings or temporary elements) and water features were the most attractive public space features for outdoor participants during heat-stress conditions in Adelaide. Meanwhile, essential shopping and dining facilities and social events affect citizens’ outdoor activity choices during heat-stress conditions. Thus, increased green infrastructures and supportive land uses are a prerequisite of urban transformation for climate change adaptation.
Rapid global urbanization and the increase of the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect make urban cooling a necessity as well as an opportunity to increase the liveability and amenity of cities. This review is a scoping study of the relevant worldwide UHI mitigation/adaptation...Read more
Industry misconceptions around high cost and poor market interest in energy efficient homes continue to obstruct the mass adoption of low carbon housing. Josh’s House demonstrates that low carbon housing is accessible and cost effective. The Star Performers series showcases how...Read more
In response to feedback, high-income households can reduce their energy use to a larger degree than low-income households (17% vs 3% reduction). This and other insights were gained by two rapid reviews into research, both Australian and International, on digital services and...Read more
Climate change projections indicate a likely 3.8°C increase in the average temperature in Australia by 2090. During summer, outdoor heat-stress causes significant thermal discomfort, altering outdoor living preferences. This paper aims to explore the neutral and critical thresholds for outdoor thermal adaptation. The paper reports on outdoor activity change during different outdoor microclimates in Darling harbour, Sydney. Results indicate that outdoor participants adjust their insulation and activity rate by an outdoor neutral thermal threshold of 28-30°C.
Outdoor thermal discomfort pushes citizens into air-conditioned buildings and causes increased demand for water and electricity in the majority of Australian urban heat islands. Citizens’ spatial and activity preferences during heat stress conditions are under investigation in this paper.
Australia has had seven extreme heatwaves since the beginning of the 20th century. During heatwaves, public spaces in cities are frequently warmer than is confortable for humans. The regional warming projection of 2-5°C in Australia (by 2070) will be added to an existing 4-8°C extra heat in higher urban densities. This extra urban heat is because of urban structures, land cover, lifestyle and lack of landscape. Under question is how and to what extent contemporary public spaces can become more resilient to emerging higher temperatures in cities while maintaining their usability.
Smarter urban futures require resilient built environment in the context of climate change. This chapter demonstrates the application of satellite-based surface cover and temperature data to support planning for urban heat resilience. Landsat 7 ETM+ and Landsat 8 data is used to analyse the correlation of urban surface covers to the urban heat island effect in Adelaide.