Sunday, June 23, 2024

Cool solution sought for Darwin CBD

The NT Government is looking at ways to reduce heat in Darwin’s CBD.

A key initiative of the NT’s Darwin City Deal is the Darwin Living Lab, which is jointly funded by the Australian and Northern Territory government and the City of Darwin.

Led by CSIRO, the Lab looks at practical and innovative heat mitigation research and brings together experts in this field with all three levels of government.

“We have listened to the community and our local businesses. We know they want a more vibrant and activated city centre,” said Minister for Small Business, Paul Kirby.

“These heat mitigation initiatives will benefit local jobs and businesses, while also making Darwin a cooler, greener liveable city for Territorians.

“Reducing heat in our city centre will benefit all Territorians through improved tourism and business opportunities and cooler, more activated spaces for public enjoyment.”

An interactive display at the Activate Darwin Hub is showcasing the heat mitigation initiatives.

“Since declaring a climate emergency in 2019, City of Darwin has been focused on rapidly transforming Darwin into a cool, clean and green city,” said City of Darwin Lord Mayor, Kon Vatskalis.

“In the past two years, over 12,000 trees have been planted across the city to build our urban forest with a further 5,500 trees to be planted over the next four months.

“The streetscape and shopping village beautification projects being delivered by Council are continuing our focus for greening the city and the tree cover along transport corridors will help reduce the heat island effect in suburban areas.

“I encourage all local residents to come along to the Darwin Living Lab and tell us what else you would like to see included for creating a cooler Darwin.”

The exhibition will remain open for a month and include a program of lunchtime information sessions presented by experts.

Cooling and greening initiatives will be on display and will provide an opportunity for the community to engage with and learn more about heat mitigation strategies. These will include research displays from the Territory Government, City of Darwin, CSIRO and Charles Darwin University.

CSIRO, Project Director and environmental engineer, Nerida Horner said the heat map would highlight priority areas to reduce heat around the city.

“We’ve kick-started a comprehensive study into Darwin’s unique biodiversity with Larrakia people to inform city greening, and in symposia and workshops we’ve brought together leading science minds and local experts to nut out the pressing issues and generate new solutions,” said Ms Horner.

“The future of the Darwin living lab is looking just as bright. We currently have six key projects on the go, ranging from development of a digital twin, assessing community needs for green space, and using smart sensors to tell us more about local microclimates in the city. 

“We are excited to be involved in the exhibition and open day later this month, and our scientists can’t wait to answer questions and hear from the public about their ideas and interests for the city.  People can link up with us and our research through our webinars, symposia and website; www.research.csiro.au/darwinlivinglab

“The exciting thing for our scientists in the Darwin Living Lab is working closely with decision makers and that work can directly inform what’s happening in Darwin to improve liveability.”

A community open day will also be held on Saturday, 27 March to provide additional information about how to create a cooler Darwin.

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