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In July this year the Red Cross presented a guide for cities to cope with extreme heat to the United Nations. This international organization highlights the role that green and grey shade infrastructure has protecting vulnerable populations and allowing citizens to actively use public spaces in climate change. This concern has become particularly acute in Australia’s inland cities where evidence of heat stress on people and urban vegetation is gaining broader community recognition.
Shadeways is a digital solution designed for the city of Bendigo, Australia – a city where climate change, ageing and community disadvantage are concerns. This paper describes the project’s innovative approach to utilizing and triangulating geospatial data, community perspectives on urban greening and community shade mapping activities to develop a shade mapping and (walking) route comfort model for the city. The project addresses the challenge of providing up to date heat information for planning active travel on a mobile platform. In general, the project also supports initiatives to engage communities in strategies for urban greening and heat responses through localised temperature sensors. The research findings provide a guide for similar communities to replicate heat mapping in urban suburban and peri-urban areas, as well as demonstrating levels of community interest and capacity to utilize data and recognise shade benefits.