Poverty and inequality affect the likelihood of your home overheating during heatwaves.
Buildings soak up the sun's heat, but research shows that white roofs and surfaces can reduce temperatures inside, particularly during heat waves.
Half-a-dozen strategies are effective for cooling urban areas. Used in combination, these strategies can drop the temperature even more.
Green roofs, like this one in Sao Paulo, Brazil, have many benefits.
South Africa needs to develop low-cost housing solutions that are inherently comfortable and environmentally sustainable. Green roofs could be part of these solutions.
Not all of the solutions to the climate and ecological crisis have to be painful.
There are ways we can stay cool in a heat wave without blasting air con at peak times.
AAP Image/TRACEY NEARMY
The urban heat island and summertime blackouts.
The Conversation 25.6 MB (download)
Today, we're asking why some of the most disadvantaged parts of our cities cop the worst of a heatwave and how you -- yes, you! -- can do your bit to reduce the risk of a summer time blackout.
Children run through an open fire hydrant to cool off during the kickoff of the 2016 Summer Playstreets Program in the Harlem neighborhood of New York, July, 6, 2016.
AP Photo/Ezra Kaplan
Climate change is making heat waves more frequent and intense around the world. Cities are hotter than surrounding areas, so urban dwellers – especially minorities and the poor – are at greatest risk.
Climate crusaders: President Macron, right, with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg after a June 2 meeting at the Elysee Palace, following the US withdrawal from the Paris agreement.
Christophe Petit Tesson/Reuters
International problems and local policies are integrally interwoven, whether the nationalists in Washington like it or not.
Cities are facing more heatwaves, but not all strategies to keep us cool are equal.
Sydney image from www.shuttrstock.com
Our cities are getting hotter. Luckily, as a built environment, we can actually do something about it.
Peak hour making you hot under the collar? It’s not just you.
Traffic image from www.shutterstock.com
Do you ever feel that the weather is worse on the weekend? Well you might be right!
Upper Coomera is one of those fast-growing fringe suburbs that are hotter because of tightly packed housing with less greenery.
Recently published research has found that the concentration of poorer people in hotter places is a real problem for cities' capacity to cope with climate change.
Reflective roof and skylights on a Walmart store, Las Vegas, NV.
Green and cool (reflective) roofs are effective tools for cooling overheated cities. Research in Chicago shows that their impacts depend on local conditions, so planners should site them carefully.
Some materials and surfaces radiate much more heat (red areas) than others, as can be seen in this thermal image of Arncliffe Street in Wolli Creek, Sydney.
Hot spots occur at the scale of where people live – the building, the street, the block – which means urban design and building materials have profound implications for our health and well-being.
The cover that trees provide transforms cities into much more hospitable places, especially in hot weather.
Six years after Black Saturday, it's worth remembering that heatwaves kill more people than bushfires do, so shade can be a life-saver. But tree cover and shade are not evenly distributed in cities.
It looks great – but what about the wildlife?
Tree image from www.shutterstock.com.
Cities are aiming to increase their tree cover. But there will need to be more than trees to encourage wildlife to return.
A few more trees and a little less aircon and we’d all be in clover.
My Life Graphic
Cities may only occupy about 2% of the world’s habitable land, but they are big drivers of global climate change. Cities are usually hotter than rural areas, and get referred to in the jargon as “urban…
When it gets hot in the city, where’s the best place to go?
Heatwaves — Australia’s biggest natural killers — are getting more frequent and hotter thanks to climate change. One day cities such as Melbourne may see unprecedented heat, perhaps 48C or higher. But…
Trees cool cities down, naturally.
Air conditioners across the country are running on full this week as Australia battles a heatwave – but are we missing an obvious, leafy solution? Trees, which provide shade and act as natural air conditioners…
Research says Melbourne could benefit from less black.
Can a whiter roof make your home cooler? What about your whole city? The existing literature and theory suggests that increasing the albedo - or reflectiveness - of a building will reflect incoming sun…