Hot in the city.

Looking at some simple statistics, the impact of heat in our urban centres in the coming years is something that is set to affect the vast majority of the world’s population – why? Most of us live in cities and it’s increasing.

thermal-img2As a result of dramatic worldwide urbanisation 50.5% of the global population lived in cities in 2010; it is predicted that 70% of people will be urban residents by 2050. 89% of Australians lived in cities and 61% of the Australians lived in a radiation of 75 km surround the five largest cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide). The socioeconomic advantages of urban living have attracted people to the cities. However, urbanisation has negative impacts that reduce significantly both the efficiency and liveability of cities. The urban heat island (UHI) is one of the adverse impacts caused by urbanisation and is the discernible temperature difference between urban and rural areas. This phenomenon is ascribed to the combination of inappropriate use of building and urban materials, urban morphology, the lack of vegetation, the extensive coverage of the stormwater sewage network, anthropogenic heat generation, altered wind patterns and increased air pollution in cities.

image: FLIR 7 thermal image (taken by Dr Conrad Philipp).

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