Science of shade – which street trees are coolest?

03 May 2019

Liverpool City Council is investigating which street trees provide the best respite from Western Sydney’s harsh summers.

Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller said trees were an important part of cooling the city and reducing the urban heat island effect.

“Areas of Liverpool have been identified as being part of the hottest 2.5 per cent of metropolitan Sydney and experience more than double the number of ‘hot days’ over 35 degrees than the metropolitan average,” Mayor Waller said.

“I am looking forward to seeing the outcome of this research and, more importantly, how we use it to make Liverpool a better, cooler city.

“Liverpool thrives on great ideas and original thinking.”

Manager City Design and Public Domain David Petrie is conducting the study as part of a Master of Science at UTS and will use the results to plan a greener future for Liverpool’s CBD and suburbs.

“I am measuring the cooling abilities of different tree species,” Mr Petrie said.

“We know that street trees cool a city in summer, but we don’t know whether some species are better than others.

“Through this experiment, we hope to find out if factors like leaf size and density make a difference to the temperature drop. The results will help us select the best trees to plant in future.”

Mr Petrie attached temperature sensors to 15 trees around the Liverpool CBD and put another five under shade structures to act as controls.

Once the results are analysed they will also inform the Liverpool City Centre Public Domain Master Plan.

“The finished Master Plan will give us a 10-year vision of improvements to Liverpool City Centre. It will include things like street trees, lighting and public furniture for our parks, plazas, streets and laneways,” Mr Petrie said.

“Right now, we are in the early stages of producing the plan and we are asking the community what they like about Liverpool and what they would like to see improve.”

To have your say on the Public Domain Master Plan visit

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.