Cities are frequently experiencing artificial heat stress, known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. The UHI effect is commonly present in cities due to increased urbanization, where anthropogenic heat and human modifications have altered the characteristics of surfaces and atmosphere. Urban structure, land cover and metabolism are underlined as UHI key contributors and can result in higher urban densities being up to 10°C hotter compared to their peri-urban surroundings. The UHI effect increases the health-risk of spending time outdoors and boosts the need for energy consumption, particularly for air-conditioning during summer. Under investigation is what urban features are more resilient to the surface layer Urban Heat Island (sUHI) effect in precinct scale.
In the context of Sydney, this ongoing research aims to explore the most heat resilient urban features at precinct scale. This UHI investigation covers five high-density precincts in central Sydney and is based on a nocturnal remote-sensing thermal image of central Sydney taken on 6 February 2009. Comparing the surface temperature of streetscapes and buildings’ rooftops (dominant urban horizontal surfaces), indicates that open spaces and particularly streetscapes are the most sensitive urban elements to the sUHI effect. The correlations between street network intensity, open space ratio, urban greenery ratio and the sUHI effect is being analysed in Sydney’s high-density precincts. Results indicate that higher open space ratio and street network intensity correlate significantly to higher sUHI effect at precinct scale. Meanwhile, 10% increase in the urban greenery can effectively decrease the precinct temperature by 0.6°C.
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
With regard to separation of food scraps for composting, this research identified that there are two important aspects often overlooked when the focus is only on behaviour: 1. Policy makers need to ensure that there are socio-technical systems supporting diverse groups of people...Read more
The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect can result in higher urban densities being significantly hotter (frequently more than 4 °C, even up to 10 °C) compared to their peri-urban surroundings. Such artificial heat stress increases the health risk of spending time outdoors and boosts the need for energy consumption, particularly for cooling during summer.
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.
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.
Urban spaces are experiencing warmer microclimates as the combined result of climate change and the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. While climate change projections indicate a likely increase of 2°C in Australia by 2070, an additional heat load of 10°C exists in the built environment. The question is how and to what extent contemporary public spaces can become more resilient to such high temperatures?