NY11013 - Greening City - Mitigate Heat Stress with Urban Vegetation

Extreme environmental temperatures can have serious health impacts. The January 2009 heatwave in Melbourne is estimated to have claimed 374 excess deaths over what would normally have been expected for that period. This research is one of the first attempts to develop quantitative estimates of the potential benefit of urban vegetation in reducing heat related mortality. It was undertaken by a research team from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) working closely with the Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA). The research involved modelling of vegetation and mortality relationships for present climate and projected future climates in 2030 and 2050 for Melbourne, Brisbane and Parramatta NSW. The team found some differences among the results for the present and future years in different cities, but the overall trend was that urban vegetation can potentially reduce excess heat related mortality. Urban vegetation is recommended to be an important strategy for heat wave mitigation and for climate adaptation.