Cooling down in Darwin: new heat mitigation strategy launched

NT Government

2 December 2021

Helping people experience the best of Darwin’s lifestyle by mitigating the seasonal impact of Darwin’s hot and humid climate is the focus of a brand new strategy that has been launched today.

The Northern Territory Government, in partnership with the Australian Government, City of Darwin and the Darwin Living Lab, led by Australia’s national science agency CSIRO, has published the Feeling Cooler in Darwin: Darwin Heat Mitigation and Adaptation Strategy.

The Strategy is a key deliverable of the Darwin City Deal – a ten year partnership between the Commonwealth Government, Northern Territory Government and City of Darwin that aims to position Darwin as a vibrant and liveable city.

The Strategy aims to help people adapt to Darwin’s future heat-related climate challenges, using heat mitigation methods to shade and cool the city, and reduce heat-related health challenges.

It presents a coordinated response to research commissioned by the Northern Territory Government through the University of New South Wales in 2017 that mapped the heat profile of the Darwin Central Business District and made recommendations on the potential for selected heat mitigation treatments to reduce city temperatures.

The Darwin Living Lab will review the Strategy every three years to monitor and evaluate progress and to inform further action.

The CSIRO-led Darwin Living Lab is funded by the Australian Government through the CSIRO and Darwin City Deal; the Northern Territory Government; and City of Darwin.

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP:

“This Strategy demonstrates a strong collaboration between all levels of government through the Darwin City Deal to identify and prioritise key next steps to improve Darwin’s liveability for the future.”

Quotes attributable to Northern Territory Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, the Hon Eva Lawler MLA:

“Every year while our southern neighbours shiver through the winter months, Darwin’s dry season is the envy of the nation.

“This Strategy is about acting and adapting to our more challenging seasonal conditions through innovative measures to help people feel cooler in Darwin all year round and improve Darwin’s liveability.

“Thirty recommendations have been identified in the Strategy to comprehensively address urban heat with a focus on improving, cooling and thermal comfort through Darwin’s buildings, streetscapes and urban environments, preparing for heat and heat-related illness, and Darwin becoming a leader in heat mitigation and adaptation in the wet-dry tropics.”

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor of Darwin, the Hon Kon Vatskalis:

“City of Darwin declared a climate emergency because it is getting hotter, much faster, and this challenges our ability to enjoy the many aspects of our beautiful city.

“This strategy shows that we are collaborating with our City Deal partners to actively take control of the changes that are happening in Darwin to nurture a cool city that everyone can enjoy.”

Quotes attributable to CSIRO Research Leader for Northern Australia, Dr Chris Chilcott:

“The Darwin Living Lab tests and evaluates heat mitigation measures, such as integrating green infrastructure in the built environment, and the benefits they can provide in improving outdoor thermal comfort and reducing building energy demand for cooling.

“Our science will support the implementation of the Strategy by testing new ways of doing things, such as the use of reflective materials to reduce urban heat island effect, and measuring whether they work in Darwin’s unique and changing climate.

“Our scientists previously mapped Darwin’s land surface temperatures and heat-health vulnerability that identified characteristics of ‘hot spots’ in the city and surrounds.”

The Darwin City Deal is a 10-year partnership between the Commonwealth Government, Northern Territory Government and City of Darwin.

To view the Strategy, visit Creating a Cooler City here. Further information about the Darwin City Deal can be accessed at infrastructure.gov.au/cities/city-deals/darwin [https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/cities/city-deals/darwin].

Northern Territory Government

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