New PIA resource toolkit for minimising urban heat impacts

A toolkit enabling planners and local governments to minimise urban heat impacts has been published by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA).

The best-practice resources in the Resource Toolkit cover each state and territory and are intended to assist practising planners in making “climate-conscious decisions”.

Urban heat island is a relatively new issue and largely unresearched, the authors of the toolkit say.

“Little to no planning guideline provides a comprehensive perspective on combating urban heat.”

“Almost every council in Australia possesses their own urban greening, urban forest or urban cooling strategy. However, many of these strategies were established not for the reason of urban heat.”

“Therefore, helping local councils or state governments to incorporate urban heat into their planning interventions is vital.”

The scope of the toolkit includes:

  • Development assessment: vegetation and tree retention, landscape and greenfield development in relation to urban heat and changing climate;
  • Analysis of planning system: strategic planning, land use planning, and development controls, design guidelines; and
  • Assessment of planning tools and mapping.

To ensure councils can adequately plan and prepare to minimise climate change impacts in their communities, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) continues to call for a Local Government Climate Response Partnership Fund of $200 million over four years.