Urban heat mapping was undertaken to gain a better understanding of how materials, urban design, different land uses and even housing density can impact or improve the liveability of public areas and private homes during our often long, dry and hot summer periods. Due to a changing climate, the Western Adelaide region is already experiencing longer, hotter and more frequent heatwaves, which have the potential to impact the health and well-being of our community, as well as councils’ ability to deliver key services. The future urban form will also have higher densities, smaller backyards and less opportunity for trees or other green infrastructure to assist with cooling.
The project provides a 'snapshot' of surface temperatures of the study area.
A flyover was undertaken on February 9 2017 during the day (11am - 4pm), and again at night (11pm - 3am) to investigate how heat continues to radiate from different built materials and surface areas into the evening. Data was collected using a specialist remote sensing aircraft across 110 suburbs covering three western region council areas (including West Torrens).
Results have been used to inform decision-making such as urban greening and prioritising tree planting, Water Sensitive Urban Design and urban design projects. Heatwaves and higher temperatures experienced in summer impact community health, which often results in increased mortality and medical needs. In particular, higher temperatures impact members of the community who have pre-existing conditions relating to heart, renal and mental health.