Thursday, 28 April 2022 14:15

WSROC launches Australia’s first heat resilience rating tool Featured

Woman sitting in a leafy garden of a high-density development. Woman sitting in a leafy garden of a high-density development.

Media release, 28 April 2022

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), in collaboration with the Greater Cities Commission and Resilient Sydney, have launched Australia’s first rating tool for heat resilient urban development – Cool Suburbs.

WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “Time and time again, heat has been identified as Sydney’s number one natural hazard risk with major impacts for public health, essential infrastructure, economy and the environment.

“With projections for longer, hotter, more frequent extreme weather, it is critical we design our cities to keep residents comfortable and safe – however guidance on how to do this well has been limited.

“The Cool Suburbs Tool is the first comprehensive place-based rating system to assess the heat resilience delivered by urban designs at various development scales – from lot to community masterplan.

"Developed in partnership with a panel of leading scientists, Cool Suburbs translates what we know about heat, climate and the built environment, into a practical tool to guide on-ground decision making,” said Clr Calvert.

Project partner and Resilient Sydney’s Chief Resilience Officer, Beck Dawson, said “This is the first time we’ve had a practical tool that we can use as a city to help us build in a way that cools rather than cooks our communities”. Cool Suburbs outlines measures to maximise urban cooling including orientation, airflow, permeability, shading, open space, and water; and provides clear design guidance for how each measure can be achieved.

The Tool also outlines further measures to support community heat resilience including provision of drinking water, backup power for community hubs, and community information and signage.

Greater Cities Commission’s Environment Commissioner, Meg McDonald, said “Developing heatresilient cities would positively impact people’s lives and improve liveability across the region.

“This rating system takes a comprehensive approach to community heat resilience and will support the work of the Commission and others to understand our progress in addressing this challenge in a warming climate,” Ms McDonald said.

Developments are awarded credits for the measures they implement, culminating in a Cool Suburbs score that represents how well they have delivered heat-resilient design.

Clr Calvert said, “The Cool Suburbs Tool can be used for all scales and types of development. Different credits are switched on or off depending on whether you are building a residential home, building on an industrial site, or if you are developing a master planned community.

“This first iteration of Cool Suburbs is a prototype applicable to Western Sydney only. The Tool has been piloted with several government and industry partners, and over the coming 12 months we will be road testing the Tool across a far greater range of development types and are calling for collaborators to get involved. Ultimately, we aim for Cool Suburbs to become a national rating tool for heat resilience," he said.

The Cool Suburbs Tool is free to use under licence We welcome all partiesconcerned to design and build a cooler city to trial and test this practical Tool.




Media contact: Kelly Gee, 02 9671 4333, 0425 871 868 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last modified on Thursday, 28 April 2022 14:30

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