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Urban Heat

Western Sydney Cool Roads Trial

Why cool our roads?

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Roads have been identified as a major heat source in urban areas. Approximately 10% of the City of Parramatta Local Government Area (LGA) is a road or asphalt surface. This means that each and every resident and business is surrounded by roads, and is impacted by the temperature conditions being created by them.

Roads and asphalt areas absorb heat during the day, making streets and surrounding areas hot. At night, they release this absorbed heat which increases overnight temperatures.

These increased night-time temperatures make it difficult for people to rest or recover, and have been found to be of particular concern for members of the community with health conditions, the very young and older people. Increased night time temperatures also increase energy costs through the extended use of air conditioning overnight.

Combatting increasing heat in our community has been identified as a key priority in City’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2017


Two images: 1. street with houses and grass, 2. thermo image of street

How do you cool a road?

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The Western Sydney Cool Rods Trial is researching how to reduce the amount of heat being absorbed by asphalt roads across three council areas, including three locations in the City of Parramatta.

    As part of this trial, the road’s asphalt colour is lightened from black to light grey by applying two coats of GuardTop CoolSeal.

    CoolSeal is a water-based sealant that is designed to reflect the sun’s rays and minimise the buildup of heat.

    Council workers installing cool seal on road

    Image: CoolSeal installation, Northmead - George Gittany Photography, 18 March 2020

    The following key benefits are expected from the trial:

    • reduced surface temperatures by 5 to 14 degrees Celsius on average
    • reduced ambient air temperatures of 1 to 2 degrees Celsius
    • extend the life of the road surface
    • reduced street lighting needs as a result of higher reflectivity from the lighter road surface

    Where is the trial happening?

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    The trial is being conducted at the following City of Parramatta Council locations:

    • Corry Court, North Parramatta
    • Renoir Street, Old Toongabbie
    • Roslyn Avenue, Northmead
    • Binalong Park car park

    How were the trial locations chosen?

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    The trial locations were primarily selected on the basis of:

    • The existing road surface being suitable i.e. no cracks or defects;
    • Streets with fewer street trees shading the road; and
    • Locations which are known to have increased local temperatures

    How will the trial be evaluated?

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    The trial will include the following evaluation components:

    • Western Sydney University will be conducting heat monitoring using heat loggers and infrared imagery. This monitoring will collect surface, air and ‘feels like’ temperatures.
    • Residents and key stakeholders will be invited to participate in a survey during the trial, initially 3 months after installation and then at 12 months, which will include an entire summer season.

    If you are interested in exploring the thermal heat of the City, use our heat mapping tool which allows you to view and compare day and night temperatures across most of the LGA.

    For more information

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    For further information on the Western Sydney Cool Roads Trial, contact the Environmental Outcomes Team on


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    Blacktown City Council


    Campbelltown City Council


    Western Sydney University