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Cities Taking On Extreme Heat Down Under

Posted by karen-smith-murphy on June 20, 2014

Research commissioned by the City of Melbourne as part of its Climate Change Adaptation Strategy found that a January heat wave cost local businesses approximately $37 million.  City administrators know that with the increased frequency and intensity of heatwaves, they need to understand of the economic impacts of such events on businesses.  From theCity of Melbourne

City of Melbourne Environment portfolio chair, Councillor Arron Wood, said Council is firmly focused on building Melbourne’s resilience to climate impacts.

“We’re doubling tree canopy cover for our urban forest, upgrading drainage infrastructure, funding more energy efficient buildings, implementing planning processes to minimise climate risk and installing various water-sensitive urban design initiatives.  Heatwaves don’t only impact our city economically, heat related illness also kills more Australian’s each year than any other natural disaster so City of Melbourne has identified this as a priority issue we must prepare better for,” Cr Wood said.

Meanwhile, the City of Sydney is conducting a trial to see if lighter colored pavement will help reduce the urban heat island effect and improve the comfort and health of the people who live there.  From Australia’s Business Insider:

“Materials such as concrete and cement store more heat than natural surfaces, absorbing it during the day and releasing it at night, which can contribute to hotter urban areas,  . . .  Lighter coloured pavements may result in lower energy bills for surrounding buildings.”

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Karen Smith-Murphy