Light coloured home with white roof standing above a sea of dark roofed homes.


The Urban Heat Planning Toolkit has been developed to help local government strengthen their planning provisions to reduce the impacts of heat.

uh toolkit pic


The toolkit focuses on strategies that can be implemented in new development and redevelopment, to reduce urban heat and help people adapt.


Local planning provisions are important mechanisms to influence built environment outcomes, and improved controls have the potential to reduce the impacts of urban heat.  However, this is a new and complex space.


The toolkit identifies various design measures to reduce the impacts of urban heat, identifies how each measure works, summarises key evidence and notes limitations. Several case studies are included.


Three broad types of recommendations are made:


  1. New LEP and DCP provisions. To raise the prominence of urban heat in LEPs and DCPs, it is recommended that specific urban heat provisions should be included.

  2. Improvements to existing provisions. Where LEP and DCP provisions need to meet multiple objectives including addressing heat, it is more appropriate to build on existing provisions. Recommendations are made to improve many existing provisions including landscape, tree and Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) provisions.

  3. Topics beyond local planning controls. For example, BASIX governs energy efficiency and thermal performance for residential development.

While the focus is local government and land use planning, the first two parts of the toolkit will have broad relevance to a wider audience.


Turn Down the Heat Strategy action 4: Land use and design controls that prioritise resilience.


Project partners: WSROC (lead). The project engaged Civille, UNSW, University of Adelaide and Atelier 10 to assist with the development of the work. The implementation is supported by the council project delivery group: Blacktown, Cumberland, Hawkesbury, Liverpool and Parramatta councils. 


Contact: Judith Bruinsma, Project Coordinator, 02 9671 4333


This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government and supported by local Government NSW.