Cooling an overheated city with shade and irrigation

About This Project

Heatwaves are getting longer, hotter and more frequent, with the largest impacts occurring in our cities due to the urban heat island effect. Heatwaves negatively affect the community in different ways, placing acute stresses on the community and the ecosystems on which we rely on, and reducing the liveability of our city.

Melbourne Water owns and manages 33,000 ha of land across the Port Phillip and Western Port region. Mosaic Insights was engaged to identify the full range of urban cooling opportunities on the estate and create a pipeline of projects for Melbourne Water. The pipeline is critical to moving the Urban Cooling Program towards its aim of transforming 30 ha of public land into shade and cooling hubs in the Melbourne metropolitan area by 2021.

We used advanced spatial analytic tools that we developed to draw insights from city scale data sets, including urban forest canopy, recycled and stormwater infrastructure and community heat vulnerability.

The pipeline of urban cooling projects represents a critical first step in understanding the role Melbourne Water can play in the cooling of the city, and sets the scene for a city wide urban cooling strategy.