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Urban Heat

Beat the Heat this summer in the City of Parramatta

Feeling the heat

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Here in the Western Sydney region, we are really feeling the heat, with an increasing number of days reaching temperatures of 35°C and over.

Parramatta’s CBD is located 20km west of the coast and it is generally hotter than the Sydney CBD, with hot westerly winds from inland further contributing to our higher temperatures.

The graph below shows that we have more days over 35°C and less access to cooling sea breezes than the Sydney CBD.


Increased temperatures and exposure to extreme heat events pose health risks such as dehydration and overheating. There are groups in our community who are more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses such as those with chronic illness, the elderly, and young children.

What Council is doing to help you beat the heat

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Western Sydney Cool Roads Trial – We are trialing a new road-surfacing product called Cool Seal to help reduce the build-up of heat in our suburbs.

Providing more share through urban greening - We are helping keep our City cool by planting 2,700 trees in streets and parks, and 100,000 plants in bushland reserves throughout our Local Government Area. 

Council's water play parks - provide local families with the opportunity to participate in water-based activities during the warmer months of the year. Water play park locations include James Ruse Reserve, Harris Park, Philip Ruddock Water Playground, Dundas Valley, Ollie Web Reserve and Inclusive Playground.

City Heat Maps – explore the temperature during the day and night in your local area via this virtual map.

Collaborative Projects – find out about the projects we are supporting to reduce the impact of urban heat.

Best Practice in Design and Development – we are working on planning and development controls so that new developments can reduce their urban heat impacts. This work has been identified as an action in our Local Strategic Planning Statement.

Be prepared

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Being prepared for increasing heat is important for the health and wellbeing of you, your family and friends.

Council has partnered with the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, the Western Sydney Local Health District and our neighbouring Councils to develop a range of resources to help you be prepared for extreme heat and heatwave events.

Our key tips are:

  • Plan for high heat days by moving appointments to the early morning, shading windows and closing doors to rooms you are not using.
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid sugary drinks, tea, coffee and alcohol as they can increase your risk of dehydration.
  • If you can’t cool your house, plan to spend time in an air-conditioned public space

Heat Smart Resources

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You can download the resources here:

Heat Smart - Parents
Heat Smart - Over 65
Heat Smart - Cool Home

For more information about these resources, contact our Community Capacity Building team at CCB@cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au
 

For more ideas for how to prepare for extreme heat, we recommend you visiting the following sites:

Know your risk

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Understanding how heat might impact you will help you to develop a plan for reducing the risk:

  • Have a look at the City heat maps to see how the Urban Heat Island impacts your local area during the day and overnight.
  • Speak with your medical professional about how heat might impact your health, and ask them for advice on staying well
  • Create an emergency plan for you and your loved ones.
     

For more information to help you understand your risk, we recommend you visiting the following sites:

Reduce your risk

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Can you make changes to your environment to help reduce the risk?

  • Shade your windows. Use thick curtain materials, external shade sails or eaves and shade boxes.
  • When building or renovating, use light coloured surfaces for your roofing, external walls and paved areas.
  • Plant and maintain vegetation that provides dense canopy shade. If you only have a small space, consider climbing plants in pots with trellises placed near your windows.

For more ideas for how to change your environment, we recommend you visiting the following sites:

Defining urban heat

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Urban temperature differences are largely a result of the materials and form of the built environment and a decline in green spaces and tree cover. It is important to know that urban heat can be generated from the sun and through mechanical processes.

In the City of Parramatta, we experience urban heat through localised increased temperatures due to increasing areas of paved, hard, dark coloured surfaces like roads, car parks, footpaths and buildings.

Some areas of the City are also impacted by locally generated heat through the use of mechanical equipment, air conditioners and motor vehicles.

During the day, hard, dark coloured surfaces absorb and store heat and release it back into the environment, which can make it feel hot for longer.

When the air temperature starts to cool at night, these surfaces continue to release the stored heat, which can make it much hotter at night. These increased night temperatures make it harder for us to cool down enough to get restful sleep without running fans and air conditioning.

For more information about urban heat, you can visit the following sites:

Key priority

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The City of Parramatta has identified urban heat as a key priority in the Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2017.

Our goal is to improve liveability by cooling the City and protecting people and communities from heat stress.

We have the opportunity to use the City’s natural and built assets, such as rivers, creeks and green spaces, as well as roads and buildings, to ensure people, and our City, can cool down on hot days.

For more information

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