This page compiles a list of current projects and resources from our Turn Down the Heat partners and stakeholders.





202020Vision Graphic

           5 Million Trees graphic          Beat the Heat graphic
202020 Vision      

5 Million Trees

      Beat the Heat

The 202020 Vision is one big collaboration to make our urban areas 20% greener by 2020


5MT is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to creating a greener city to improve Sydney’s health, climate, economy and environment.


We provide you with information on how hot weather influences your health, how you can prepare for and stay healthy in the heat, how you can recognise and treat heat-related illness, and how you can care for people who are at risk of heat-related illness.

            Benchmarking in Campbelltown Turn Down the Heat Resources page
Benchmarking heat in Parramatta      

Benchmarking heat in Cumberland


Benchmarking heat in Campbelltown

The OATH (Outdoor Ambient Temperature Hierarchies of Parramatta) environmental monitoring project is a collaboration between Western Sydney University (WSU) and the City of Parramatta Council.


During the summer of 2018/19, more than 1.4 million individual measurements of air temperature were recorded at 97 locations in and around the Cumberland LGA.


During the summer of 2018/19, more than 1.46 million individual air temperature measurements were recorded at 102 locations in and around the LGA.


  Citizen Science Urban Microclimate Project          Clean Air and urban landscapes hub graphic           Climate Adapted People shelter at Penrith.

Citizen Science: Urban Microclimate Project

      Clean Air and Urban Landscape Hub       Climate Adaptive People Shelter 

In a collaboration between RMIT and the University of New South Wales, the Citizen Science Project will mobilise a league of enthusiastic citizen scientists to assist Australia’s leading Universities and scientific organisations with their research. The results from this study will provide data required for citizens to understand, mitigate and adapt to extreme heat.

Organisation: RMIT and University of New South Wales


The CAUL Hub is one of six research hubs supported by the National Environmental Science Program, which aims to assist decision-makers to understand, manage and conserve Australia’s environment by funding world-class biodiversity and climate science. The programme focuses on collaborative, practical and applied research that informs on-ground action.


 The CAPS project aimed to reimagine Sydney’s bus shelters as Climate Adapted People Shelters through an open innovation design competition.

Organisation: University of Technology

  Cool Parramatta logo      

Cool Streets Blacktown

      Cool Suburbs graphic
Cool Parramatta      

Cool Streets©

    Cool Suburbs

Community engagement program which provides community with the tools they need to keep cool in summer.


Blacktown City Council’s Cool Streets© urban heat project aimed to mitigate the effect of rising urban heat in Western Sydney by increasing the number of street trees. Community events in treeless streets engaged with residents, promoted the benefits of street trees and enabled resident participation. Street tree designs that maximise temperature reductions and lower residential energy consumption were developed, and an on-ground trial saw a whole street planted with trees that will lower surface temperatures, reduce home energy usage, sequester carbon and potentially increase property prices.


Cool Suburbs will deliver a tool underpinned by peer-reviewed science that gives a cool rating for a place (building, street, precinct or suburb).
The process will use science and engagement to identify the most effective policy, investment, product, programmatic and advocacy interventions to contribute to cooling a place.
The Cool Suburb accreditation will be available for marketing purposes, giving developments an edge by being a better place to live.

  Cooling the City Graphic         CRC Low Carbon Living graphic       Melbourne Urban Forest Strategy graphic
Cooling the City - Penrith      

Microclimate and UHI Mitigation Decision  Support Tool

      Urban Forest Strategy

This Strategy aims to consolidate existing work by Council to cool the City. Tree planting and landscaping is one of the most successful approaches being taken across the world . The evidence gathered to support the development of this Strategy will help Council to pinpoint areas where existing Council programs and funding should be directed to achieve multiple outcomes, including targeted cooling. This Strategy draws upon existing works programs and adopted strategies as well as recommendations from expert consultants’ reports to make suggestions for various cooling activities.


This project aims to develop a robust and tangible microclimate and urban heat island mitigation decision-support tool that bridges the gap between research on urban microclimates and its practical application.

Organisation: CRC for Low Carbon Living


The City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest Strategy seeks to manage this change and protect against future vulnerability by providing a robust strategic framework for the evolution and longevity of Melbourne's urban forest.

Organisation: City of Melbourne


 If you are aware of any further projects not listed on this page please get in touch with the WSROC Office on 02 96714333 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Other resources: 

Reports and research

Title Organisation   Description
Turn Down the Heat Research Consortium

      Western Sydney University       Collated works by Western Sydney University researchers and others exploring the impact of, and ways to mitigate, rising heat in Western Sydney.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
A Guide to Urban Cooling Strategies

      Urban Green Cover in NSW       This document provides practical guidance for built environment professionals and regulatory agencies seeking to optimise development projects to moderate urban microclimates and mitigate urban heat island effects in major urban centres across a range of climates in Australia.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Adapting to Urban Heat: A toolkit for local governments

      Georgetown Climate Centre       Tool kit for local government
 ______        ______        ____________________________________

Basics of City Cooling Micro-credential


Western Sydney University


This 25-hour course, co-presented by Western Sydney University and WSROC, will enable you to communicate comfortably as to why urban cooling must become a fundamental aspect of how we build new and retrofit existing elements of the urban fabric.

 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Benchmarking heat across Campbelltown, New South Wales       Western Sydney University and Campbelltown City Council       This report outlines the results of an urban microclimate study conducted across the Campbelltown LGA during the summer of 2018/19. More than 1.46 million individual air temperature measurements were recorded via sensors at 102 locations.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Benchmarking heat across Cumberland Council, New South Wales       Western Sydney University and Cumberland Council
      This report outlines results of an urban microclimate study conducted across the Cumberland LGA during the summer of 2018/19. More than 1.4 million individual air temperature measurements were recorded via sensors at 97 locations.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Benchmarking heat in Parramatta, Sydney's Central River City       Western Sydney University and City of Parramatta Council       This report outlines results of an urban microclimate study conducted across City of Parramatta during the summer of 2018/19. Data analyses revealed that (1) communities of the City of Parramatta are exposed to more extreme heat (>40°C) than previously known, (2) southern and south-western suburbs experience higher air temperatures compared to north-eastern suburbs and (3) large differences in cooling capacity exist among urban tree species.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________

Benchmarking Heat studies:


Western Sydney University



Air temperature in complex urban terrain can vary. While roads and buildings can lead to higher temperatures in urban landscapes, trees and other green urban infrastructure can provide cooling. These studies identify microclimatic variation within LGAs.

This assists councils in understanding variation and mapping vulnerability and direct mitigation and adaptation investment.

 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Building Resilience to Natural Disasters in our States and Territories

      Deloitte Access Economics       This report assesses the resilience of our states and territories to natural disasters. It examines the distinct circumstances that face the states and territories, the role of each state and territory government and how resilience can be collectively built by more effective collaboration between government, business and community groups.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Built for Comfort       Camden City Council        Camden Council have released a ‘Built for Comfort’ brochure. The aim is to inform those building a new home or retrofitting an existing home in Camden’s climate of smart and sustainable measures. This guide includes useful tips and information to ensure homes are sustainably built for the future.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
CBD Development Control Plan       City of Parramatta Council       Parramatta introduced urban cooling controls for their CBD DCP (see section 6.8.5). They are particularly strong on reflectivity and heat rejection to ensure comfort for pedestrians.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Climate Resilient People Shelter       Penrith City Council & University of Technology Sydney       The CAPS project aimed to reimagine Sydney’s bus shelters as Climate Adapted People Shelters through an open innovation design competition. The CAPS project addressed the complex challenges of public exposure to urban heat and the need for smarter public transport infrastructure to improve the liveability of cities.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Climate Risk? Climate Ready .pdf       Western Sydney University       Summers are getting longer and hotter.  We all need to prepare ourselves, our homes and our neighbourhoods for more hot and very hot days (days over 35 degrees).
 ______        ______        ____________________________________

NSW Government — AdaptNSW


The AdaptNSW website was developed by the NSW Government to inform and empower communities, businesses, households and government to adapt to climate change. It provides relevant, localised information and case studies.

 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Cool Centres Strategy       Blacktown City Council       Blacktown Council have arranged cool centres where you can find refuge from the heat. These are especially for people who are unable to keep cool at home and who might not be able to easily get to a shopping centre, library, or swimming pool.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Cooling The City        Penrith City Council       This Strategy relies on a strong research base to understand urban heat within the Penrith Local Government Area (LGA) and to develop a broad range of actions that will work together towards cooling the City.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Cooling The Commons

      Western Sydney University       This pilot study provides initial insights into how residents living in Western Sydney keep cool during the hottest parts of the year and how they would like to see their living environments, at home and out and about, modified to improve well-being in a climate-changing world. The research responds to the lack of qualitative information about day-to-day living practices in outer suburban Sydney; the constraints people experience when trying to keep cool; and, people’s aspirations for more comfortable living environments.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________

Cool Schools


Western Sydney University


Rising temperatures and the increasing frequency of extreme heat events across NSW, and Australia pose significant health and safety risks to children, yet little is known about thermal comfort of students and teachers in Australian schools.
The Western Sydney University Cool Schools Initiative (CSI) was launched in 2018 to develop interdisciplinary research programs for heat-resilient primary and secondary school environments and design of heat-resilient curriculum.

 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Cool Streets       Blacktown City Council       Blacktown City Council’s Cool Streets© project aimed to mitigate the effect of rising urban heat in Western Sydney by increasing the number of street trees. Cool Streets© combines scientific research and public engagement, working with local communities to implement effective street tree plantings that provide shade in heat-affected urban areas and reduce CO2 emissions.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Cool Suburbs       WSROC       Cool Suburbs is a rating and assessment tool for building heat resilience in urban planning and development.
From precinct master plans to lot-scale design considerations, the Cool Suburbs Tool can be used to inform decision-making across the entire development process for both government and industry.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________

Cooling Western Sydney


Sydney Water and UNSW


A strategic study on the role of water in mitigating urban heat in Western Sydney.
This study has challenged conventional thinking around mitigating urban heat, including the way we look at the built environment, energy demand, public health, and ‘greening’ cities.

 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Dangerous Degrees

      The Climate Institute       The Dangerous Degrees booklet explains why a rise of only a few degrees in the average global temperature risks our prosperity, security, and health. It explains why it is so important to reverse the rise in emissions within the decade and why it is still within our means to do so. 
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Defining heatwaves: heatwave defined as a heat impact event servicing all community and business sectors in Australia

      Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO       This report proposes a new objective definition for heatwaves and heatwave severity that may be applied to any location in Australia, or for that matter the world. Using this definition, it is now possible to compare severe and extreme heat events across time and space.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Future-proofing residential development       WSROC       This study reviewed the thermal performance of BASIX-compliant Western Sydney homes under future climate scenarios with the aim of understanding whether today's housing standards are future-ready. Further modelling was conducted to test how design modifications could allow these homes to perform better in future climates.    
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Greening Our City       NSW Government       The NSW Government is aiming to lessen the impact of the urban heat island effect and increase the city’s resilience to a changing climate. We are focused on tree planting, green infrastructure, and policy change to ensure that the planning system supports trees and green cover well into the future. 
 ______        ______        ____________________________________

Greater Sydney Region Plan (2018)


Greater Cities Commission


The Greater Sydney Region Plan was the first NSW Government strategic planning document to outline the challenge of urban heat.

 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Heat and Health       The Lancet Series       Hot weather and heat extremes harm human health, with priority poverty, ageing, and chronic illnesses as aggravating factors. Check out this Series from the Lancet journals.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Heat and Social Housing       Link Wentworth       As part of the Western Sydney Heat and Social Housing project, community housing organisations Hume and partners have produced a range of education resources in collaboration with social housing tenants.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Heat Risk Scale       University of Sydney       University of Sydney researchers are developing a heat stress scale similar to a UV index, with an accompanying app to help the public handle the heat and avoid the risk of health problems from heatwaves.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Heat Smart Resilience Framework       WSROC       Developed through extensive consultation with over 500 stakeholders, the Heat Smart Resilience Framework outlines 25 recommendations for improving heatwave management with a focus on building systems that support community resilience.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Heat Smart Western Sydney – Community Resources       WSROC       WSROC worked with councils, Local Health Districts and community sector organisations to develop a range of heatwave preparedness resources – pamphlets, videos and social media tiles. The Heat Smart resources were piloted with communities and are available in 10 languages.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Heat and UV Smart Playgrounds       Cumberland City Council and Western Sydney University       A case study into making playgrounds safer for families and children during hot weather.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Heatwave Emergency Sub-Plan       NSW Government       This sub-plan sets out the arrangements for the control and coordination of, the preparation for, response to and immediate recovery from heatwave events within NSW.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Heatwaves: Climate Change Impact Snapshot

      NSW Environment & Heritage       Heatwaves are a significant hazard in Australia for people and the environment. They have been responsible for more human deaths than any other natural hazard, including bushfires, storms, tropical cyclones and floods.
Office of Environment and Heritage has used the projections from NARCliM to provide updated information on the projected impacts of climate change on heatwaves in the near future (2030) and far future (2070).
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
How Cool is my Kindy? Thermal Assessment of Outdoor Play Space in Early Learning Centres across Western Sydney

      Western Sydney University       This ongoing study documents quality and quantity of shade as well as surface temperatures in outdoor play spaces of a number of early learning centres in Western Sydney.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
How Eucalypts Respond to Heatwaves

      Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University       Using unique outdoor climate-controlled pods to test the response of Australia’s native eucalypts to climate change, this research discovered that trees “sweat” to cool themselves during record-breaking heat waves.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Living Beneath a Cool Roof

              Research into the benefits of cool roofing. A green roof system is a proven way to tackle urban heat, with benefits for the residents of an individual building and for a city precinct more broadly. In particular, green roof systems are an effective approach to urban heat management in densely populated cities such as Hong Kong where heat has major impacts on the local climate and on liveability. The study finds significant benefits are available from the implementation of extensive green roofs including improving visual amenity, reducing urban island heat effect and improving air quality. However, major constraints come from a lack of government support and attitudinal difficulties in retrofitting existing buildings.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Minimising the impacts of extreme heat: A guide for local government

      NSW Office of Environment and Heritage       This guide seeks to clarify roles and responsibilities in relation to extreme heat events and will examine ways in which local government can minimise the impacts of such events by adapting existing systems, procedures and activities.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Natural Hazards - Public Health considerations 

      NSW Ministery of Health       This handbook is a rapid reference tool that supports the immediate preparation, response and recovery phases of public health emergency management of natural hazards.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Rapid Response Report: Study of heatwave impacts on residents and businesses in Western Sydney

      Bureau of Meteorology and Bushfire and Natural Hazards Co-operative Research Centre        This research was conducted for the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) by Risk Frontiers with the support of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Co-operative Research Centre (BNHCRC). The BoM aims to use the findings of this study and future surveys to inform the development of its heatwave service, warnings, and updates. The study delivers valuable knowledge on key issues of risk perception and how residents and businesses respond to heatwave warnings and cope with extreme heat.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Resilience Strategy       Endeavour Energy       The strategy brings together customer feedback and independent climate modelling to take a targeted approach designed to make a real difference to our most vulnerable communities

Resilient Sydney: A strategy for city resilience 2018


Resilient Sydney


Resilient Sydney is a collaboration of all 33 metropolitan councils of Greater Sydney to develop and implement a city-wide Resilient Sydney Strategy (2018), which identifies heat as a top shock for Sydney.

 ______        ______        ____________________________________

SEED the change


NSW Government


SEED is the NSW Government’s central resource for Sharing and Enabling Environmental Data. It was developed for the NSW community in a collaborative effort between government agencies to provide an accessible and reliable platform for environmental data.

 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Sweltering Cities       Sweltering Cities       Rising temperatures are a public health emergency. Heatwaves are Australia's deadliest environmental disaster. We need a whole of government response including how we plan our cities, transport, energy, and health care.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
The Cool Schools Initiative

      Western Sydney University       This report summarises current research in health and environmental sciences, planning policy, legislation and standards, sustainability education, and innovative design trends. Its purpose is to inform future research into student thermal comfort and cooling solutions for schools in Western Sydney and NSW
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
The Critical Decade: NSW climate impacts and opportunities

      Climate Commission       Report on climate change impacts and opportunities for NSW.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
The Silent Killer: Climate change and the health impacts of extreme heat

      Climate Council       Study on the impacts of extreme heat on health.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________

Turn Down the Heat (2018)




Turn Down the Heat is a WSROC-led initiative that takes a collaborative, multi-sector approach to building a cooler, more resilient future for Western Sydney. The strategy outlines five key areas for action:

  • Take action together
  • Design and plan to cool the built environment
  • Cool with green space and water
  • Build a community that is healthy and prepared
  • Innovative and responsive infrastructure
 ______        ______        ____________________________________

Urban Cooling Analysis Services


University of NSW 


Urban Cooling Analysis project deals with the optimisation of the climatic and microclimatic conditions in four future precincts in the South Creek of Sydney.

 ______        ______        ____________________________________

Urban Heat Controls Planning Package


Penrith City Council


Penrith City Council recently adopted a standalone clause for urban heat (Penrith LEP see section 7.30) which is supported by strong DCP controls covering: tree canopy, orientation, cool materials, water-sensitive urban design and cool refuges.

 ______        ______        ____________________________________

Urban Green Cover in NSW


NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

      Practical guidance on how to adapt the urban environment through urban green cover projects.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Urban Heat Planning Toolkit       WSROC       The Urban Heat Planning Toolkit has been developed to help local government strengthen their planning provisions to reduce the impacts of heat.
The toolkit focuses on strategies that can be implemented in new development and redevelopment, to reduce urban heat and help people adapt. It also outlines the need to address heat across the planning system (including state controls and NCC)
 ______        ______        ____________________________________
Urban Microclimate Citizen Science Project       RMIT and UNSW       In a collaboration between RMIT and the University of New South Wales, the Citizen Science Project will mobilise a league of enthusiastic citizen scientists to assist Australia’s leading Universities and scientific organisations with their research. The results from this study will provide data required for citizens to understand, mitigate, and adapt to extreme heat.
 ______        ______        ____________________________________

Western Parkland City Sensor Network Project


Western Parkland City


The Western Parkland City Sensor Network Project deployed a shared, scalable sensing network across the eight local government partners.

Use cases of the sensor network include Air quality & heat: enable monitoring of change over time to see the impact of policy interventions and changing infrastructure, as well as communicate alerts to citizens of high-risk days, and understand the interactions of heat with other data assets such as morbidity rates, or public transport use.

 ______        ______        ____________________________________

Which Plant Where – Plant Selection Tool


Macquarie University, Western Sydney University and Hort Innovation


Which Plant Where is a subscription-based service developed by Macquarie University, Western Sydney University and Hort Innovation to provide growers, government, landscape architects and urban greening professionals with integrated tools and resources to enable climate-ready decision-making and to develop resilient green spaces of the future.




Title    Organisation   Overview
Understanding and adapting to climate change impacts in New South Wales

      NSW Office of Environment and Heritage         
CRC for Low Carbon Living

       CRC for Low Carbon Living       National research and innovation hub for the build environment
Adapting to urban heat

      University of Technology Sydney        
Sydney Green Grid

      Government Architect NSW       GANSW proposed a network of high-quality green space that connects town centres, public transport hubs, and major residential areas. Known as the Sydney Green Grid, it is an integral part of the Greater Sydney Region and District Plans
Greener Places

      Government Architect NSW       Greener Places builds on the Sydney Green Grid strategy which was developed by GANSW to create a network of high-quality green areas that connect town centres, public transport networks and major residential areas in Sydney. 
State Heatwave Subplan

      NSW Office of Emergency Management        The Heatwave Sub Plan has been prepared as a Sub Plan to the New South Wales State Disaster Plan (Displan) to detail the control and coordination arrangements for the preparation for, response to, and immediate recovery from a Heatwave.