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Urban Heat

Heat maps

What are heat maps?

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Heat maps are a mapping tool that shows surface temperatures using a colour scale. Generally, blues show cooler temperatures while reds show higher temperatures. Heat maps provide a snapshot of the surface temperatures.

It is important to note that thermal maps may use different colour scales, so be careful to check the legend!

We know that hard surfaces in urban areas, such as roads, roofs and paths, absorb heat from the sun during the day, and then release this stored heat at night. Heat maps give us a clear picture of where there is excess heat being absorbed and released.

Heat maps also allow you to see how features in the natural environment influence local temperatures.

A side by side comparison of an aerial shot of the constitution hill area with a heat map
Trees with dense canopies are cooler than trees with sparse canopies (Constitution Hill)

 

Image of an aerial view of the Parramatta river at james ruse drive compared side by side with a heat map of the area
Water helps to cool local temperatures (Parramatta River at James Ruse Drive)

 

Image of an an aerial shot of barton park at north parramatta compared side by side with a heat map of the area
Irrigated grass areas are cooler than non-irrigated grass areas (Barton Park, North Parramatta)

 

The City of Parramatta heat maps allow you to search for a specific address (prior to Council amalgamation) and see the surface temperature of the built and natural environment features at the location, for both the day and night.

How do I use heat maps?

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Take a few minutes to watch this clip that explains how to use the City of Parramatta heat maps.

How is the City of Parramatta using these heat maps?

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The heat maps play a role in how we plan a range of projects, including:

  • The identification of areas to priorities for additional tree planting
  • The identification of areas which may be more vulnerable to increasing urban heat
  • The identification of areas which may require additional support in remaining safe and healthy in heatwave events
  • The selection of suitable areas to trial different technologies to combat urban heat

How were the heat maps created?

During the summer of 2012/13, the City of Parramatta captured thermal images of the Council area. Since this time, the Council area has changed through the amalgamation process in 2016. As a result, not all areas within the current City are shown in these thermal maps.

These thermal images were captured by flying over the City at between 6000 and 10 000 feet with multispectral and thermal cameras. This gives the maps an average view to 1 metre.

The heat maps allow you to search for a specific address and see the surface temperature of the built and natural environment features at the location, for both the day and night.

The average temperatures in the City on the date of the capture were 35.8°C during the day and 22.6°C at night.

For more information

Contact the Environmental Outcomes Team on 9806 5620 or environmentallysustainable@cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au