This pilot study provides initial insights into how residents living in Western Sydney keep cool during the hottest parts of the year and how they would like to see their living environments, at home and out and about, modified to improve wellbeing in a climate changing world. The research responds to the lack of qualitative information about: day to day living practices in outer suburban Sydney; the constraints people experience when trying to keep cool; and, people’s aspirations for more comfortable living environments. The study reviewed factors that combine to produce urban heating in Sydney’s rapidly developing urban fringe and the key socio-environmental issues that researchers have identified as important. These include the health effects of periods of extreme heat and the loss of shading and cooling effects as the tree canopy is further degraded. Our research highlighted the dearth of information about how residents move around in space and interact with the physical environment and in turn how the changing built environment on the urban fringe is shaping new forms of individual and social behaviour.