Justin Oogjes

Justin is based at The University of Melbourne’s School of Earth Sciences and works with Prof Peter Rayner in the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub.

Justin collaborates with the Green Infrastructure Research Group and is co-supervised by A/Prof Steve Livesley.

With the urban heat island combining with background climate change warming, there are increasing risks of heat-related illnesses and mortality in urban areas, further compounded by increasing urban populations, and in many areas ageing populations.

One potential way of reducing this risk and thereby reducing the strain on Australia’s health system, particularly during heatwaves and droughts such as the Millennial Drought, is to increase the amount of green space within urban areas, which can provide cooling, particularly when using irrigation techniques such as stormwater harvesting.

This can provide some cooling, enough to reduce heat stress below key thresholds, markedly reducing heat health risks. The challenge is how to apply small-scale green modifications in urban areas to influence larger area, even up to an entire metropolitan area. Justin’s research asks: ‘Is this upscaling possible, and if so, how?’