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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

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S6 Human-environment interactions - Study 3: Climate change

Human-environment interactions

Study 3: Climate change - Urban Heat Islands

Commencing Term 2, 2024.

Cities tend to be hotter than surrounding rural areas. This is known as the urban heat island effect. It is the result of complex interactions between the built environment and natural processes. Urban heat islands are increasing the effects of climate change, making higher temperatures and extreme hot weather events more severe and difficult to manage, placing people and the environment at risk. 

Recognising the challenges and the need to mitigate the UHI effect City of Ryde council has partnered with the Field of Mars EEC in the Cool Places Cool Spaces citizen science project. The project provides students an active role in collecting quantitative and qualitative primary data that will be utilised in environmental management, urban planning, social planning, economic development, parks planning and sustainability. It will support the design and implementation of heat mitigation measures, enabling cool and liveable suburbs in the future.

The School of Built Environment at UNSW are supporting this project by co-designing valid methodologies for the collection of data appropriate for use in decision making at the government level. Students will use fieldwork instruments to measure ambient heat, solar radiation, surface temperatures, relative humidity, wind speed and percentage foliage cover. 

The data will support Council in achieving targets set in the Ryde Resilience Plan 2030 and to support community education around the impacts of heat, particularly on vulnerable members of the community and heat preparedness information.


  • Meadowbank