Urban Heat

Human impacts and development are increasing the impact of heat in our urban areas, particularly in the context of climate change and associated global warming. Impacts can include increased energy consumption, increase in temperature of stormwater runoff, decreased human comfort and health and impacts on our businesses and economies.

Stage One of this project used smart cities technology to involved strategically placing sensors for meaningful urban climate data collection, capturing temperature and humidity data, led by Silvia Tavares and Bronson Phillipa. A cloud-based platform, connected to these sensors provided real-time climate and weather data collection.

The data obtained from Stage One and ongoing data generation in conjunction with additional short-term monitoring will provide the input into Stage Two. Stage Two involves mapping urban heat and creating urban design guidelines to reduce the impacts. A city map showing urban heat islands (UHI) on a macro- and micro-scale will be created and the outcomes of this mapping will be followed by an exploration of current uses and inform much needed city improvements and design guidelines, helping local government and designers to make strategic decisions about interventions to cool our city. These could include recommendations for use of cooler building materials, optimising location of street trees and urban greenery, installing green walls and roofs, promoting shade, and protecting wind and breeze corridors.

This is a cross-disciplinary project focused upon Smart Cities. Work is also being undertaken at JCU in regards to data collection related to smart streetlights, smart water metering, smart waste bins, smart car parks, smart healthcare devices, and use of other technologies to promote a liveable sustainable city.

Funding: JCU Research Infrastructure Block Grant (RIGB)

Research team: Lisa Law, Sophie Barrett, Gisela Jung