Temperature check: Greening Australia's warming cities
Commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation, this report examines the benefits of vegetation in cooling our cities. The report found that:
- Hot summer days in Brisbane and Melbourne are expected to regularly top 40°C by 2060-2080, and up to 50°C in Sydney, with a phenomenon known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect likely to add several degrees on top of this in highly vulnerable suburbs.
- The areas most vulnerable to the additional heat caused by the UHI effect are typically disadvantaged suburbs with less protective tree canopy cover.
- Hobart and Canberra are the only capital cities that had more vegetation in 2020 than in 2013.
- More vegetation in cities helps address rising temperatures, improves physical and mental health, extends the life of infrastructure, captures carbon emissions, provides habitat for wildlife and reduces the economic burden of heat-related impacts.