Responding to the urban heat island: optimising the implementation of green infrastructure

Funders: Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation

Researchers: A/Prof Nick Williams, Dr Andy Coutts (Monash University), A/Prof Steve Livesley, Dr Briony Norton

Year 2011-2013

In this project, we assessed the effectiveness of different green infrastructure systems for urban cooling and developed a systematic approach for urban land managers to optimise the selection and implementation of green infrastructure options.

The project:

  • quantified the range in land surface temperatures and near-surface air temperatures for different urban surface types and vegetation types using DPCD/DSE collected data
  • identified surface types and features that tend to create localised heat exposure or cooling
  • assessed the thermal performance of different types green infrastructure for encouraging urban cooling (e.g. a green roof, green wall, and street trees) by monitoring green infrastructure surface temperatures
  • identified and assessed key considerations for integration of green infrastructure into existing urban areas including available space, existing infrastructure, installation and maintenance costs
  • analysed the institutional opportunities and barriers to implementation
  • developed a systematic approach for selecting and implementing green infrastructure that considers the more vulnerable sections of society, heat exposure ‘hot spots’ and the local context
  • translated the scientific findings into user-friendly guidance material for use by policy-makers and practitioners.

Publications

Coutts, A. M., R. J. Harris, T. Phan, S. J. Livesley, N. S. G. Williams, and N. J. Tapper. 2016. Thermal infrared remote sensing of urban heat: Hotspots, vegetation, and an assessment of techniques for use in urban planning. Remote Sensing of Environment 186:637-651.

Norton, B. A., A. M. Coutts, S. J. Livesley, R. J. Harris, A. M. Hunter, and N. S. G. Williams. 2015. Planning for cooler cities: A framework to prioritise green infrastructure to mitigate high temperatures in urban landscapes. Landscape and Urban Planning 134:127-138.

Contact

For more information please contact Nick Williams from the Green Infrastructure Research Group at nsw@unimelb.edu.au.