Blacktown City Council and Western Sydney University (WSU) are teaming up to undertake the area’s first comprehensive urban heat monitoring study, in the face of heat related health concerns. 

Prolonged hot days produce high levels of urban heat, which can increase the incidence of illness and death – particularly among older generations and those with a pre-existing medical condition or disability. 

Many areas of Western Sydney are experiencing rapid development and this combined with geographic conditions often produce summer temperatures that are between 10 to 15 degrees higher than those of areas closer to the coast.

Blacktown City Mayor, Tony Bleasdale, said that the area suffers under some of the highest temperatures in Sydney and that combating urban heat is one of Council’s major environmental challenges.

The study will monitor air temperatures across 220 sites in Blacktown City between December 2023 and March 2024.

Reflective cans fitted with temperature sensors will be installed in trees across Blacktown City.

The study will identify hot and cool zones to better understand the urban heat island effect in Blacktown City. The study will establish the mean, day and night-time air temperature differences for commercial, industrial, residential and natural environments.

WSU’s Dr Sebastian Pfautsch, who is leading the study for Council, said that similar studies in other areas of Western Sydney showed far more extreme heat than measurements from the Bureau of Meteorology.

“The data can be used by Council to scientifically inform and prioritise strategies to tackle rising urban heat,” Dr Pfautsch said.

“These microclimate benchmarking studies are the most effective approach to future-proof urban design and improve community heat safety. “

Mayor Bleasdale said that accurate heat data from across the city is needed to make the business case to change the way council builds. 

“Blacktown City is experiencing rapid development, with large areas of bitumen and concrete replacing open, green spaces,” Mayor Bleasdale said. 

“The results of the study will support our work to reduce urban heat and develop initiatives to cool our city, including identifying locations for more tree planting.

“It will support council’s work with the State Government, builders and developers in pushing for more sustainable development and urban greening to reduce the effects of urban heat.” 

Featured image: Reflective cans being installed across Blacktown City to monitor urban heat. Image credit: Blacktown City Council.

2 Comments
  1. Dionne Frances Mitchell 6 months ago

    Hi there,

    I am a member of Wellington Town Committee to Dubbo Regional Council, and am interested in seeing the results report from this current study, when completed. It will help inform us on similar issues in our town.
    Is it possible to receive emailed results report, when timely?

    Thanks for your help.
    Regards,
    Dionne Mitchell

  2. Eliza Booth 6 months ago

    Hi Dionne
    I’d recommend reaching out to Blacktown City Council or Western Sydney University for this!
    Cheers
    Council Magazine Team

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