Friday, February 23, 2024

Melbourne to trial new heat tool to cool city

City of Melbourne Council is working to develop an innovative new tool to map heat hazards and strengthen responses to extreme heat events.    

Council has partnered with Climasens – a leading Melbourne-based climate intelligence start-up – to test the heat risk platform, which aims to boost the city’s climate resilience.

“Extreme heat exacerbates existing inequalities and disproportionately affects the most vulnerable in society,” said Climasens Co-Founder and CEO, Joseph Glesta.

“We think it is critical to identify this risk to both populations and the places they live to better understand how to plan, prepare and respond to future heatwaves.” 

The new technology uses live weather and climate data to identify real-time heat risk insights, including heat exposure and social vulnerability.   

The insights will be used to map heat hotspots across the city – identifying heat-vulnerable populations and priority areas for cooling strategies and initiatives. 

“We’re tackling the climate emergency in many ways. City of Melbourne has planted approximately 3,000 trees in the municipality each year to increase canopy cover and cool routes throughout the city,” said Lord Mayor, Sally Capp.

“We’re also using smarter technology to help us detect and prepare for heat events and protect our community.  

“This new tool will identify our city’s most vulnerable areas, and we look forward to working with Climasens and their team of innovators to bring the heat risk platform to life over the coming year.”  

Melbourne is experiencing hotter days, longer and more intense bushfires, and less rainfall. By 2050, the city will experience an average of 16 heat events each year, the Lord Mayor said. 

“This partnership builds on the work Council is doing to cool Melbourne by 4 degrees – from greening the city, developing resilient infrastructure and providing practical support to Melburnians during heat waves,” said Council’s Co-Chief Heat Officer, Krista Milne.  

Melbourne became the sixth city in the world, and the first in Australasia, to join the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Centre’s City Champions For Heat Action initiative – with the appointment of Krista Milne and Tiffany Crawford as Co-Chief Heat Officers last year. 

For more information, visit Climasens

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