This document provides practical guidance for built environment professionals and regulatory agencies seeking to optimise development projects to moderate urban microclimates and mitigate urban heat island effects in major urban centres across a range of climates in Australia .
The emphasis is on the public realm, and the scope is project-focused. The three dimensions which contextualise the effectiveness of urban cooling strategies in this Guide are urban form, climate type and the nature of intervention. This 3D matrix provides the framework for the Guide, in terms of both process (methods) and product (the design outcomes).
This project covers urban heat mitigation strategies in climate zones relevant to Brisbane, Sydney, Parramatta, Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Cairns. The range of urban typologies include the dense inner city, middle ring and outer suburbs. The focus for design intervention will include streetscapes, plazas, squares and malls. Urban surface properties, vegetation cover, shading and orientation are key variables. Interventions cover both active (e.g. misting systems and operable awnings) and passive systems (street trees, green roofs/walls, water bodies, cool roofs and façades).
This urban cooling guide draws on data from the three- year Urban Microclimates project at the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living, and cross- references the CRC LCL Microclimate and Urban Heat Island Decision-Support Tool project. It also benefits from relevant research at the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities.