We urgently need to cool down suburbs – and we can

Thermal imaging shows a street in Parramatta without trees (top) is far hotter than one shaded by tree cover (bottom). Credit: 202020 Vision

Media Release

January 8, 2019

Heatwaves kill and our cities and suburbs are not designed with sufficient trees to help lower surface temperatures.

New research is showing that in otherwise identical suburbs, and even next door streets, there is a huge difference in temperatures depending on tree foliage.

Researchers compared two streets in Parramatta — one lined with trees and the other not — and found that some residents are exposed to dangerous temperatures and heat stress because there are not enough trees to regulate temperature.

“It is no surprise that more affluent suburbs perform better in heatwaves”, said Susan Price, candidate for the Socialist Alliance in Parramatta.

The research team behind 202020vision.com are pushing to make our urban areas 20% greener by 2020.

“This approach is doable – and so many residents and communities would happily become involved if given an opportunity”, said Ms Price.

“We need to heatwave-proof our cities and suburbs.

“Local councils need a massive injection of funds and resources for immediate tree-planting, the clean- up of existing waterways and their protection.

“We need more parks, nature reserves and communal vegetable gardens.

“Just think of how many jobs could be created in the process. The educational value of undertaking such projects would be immeasurable, and we’d all suffer less and enjoy the beauty of trees, gardens and cooler temperatures in our climate challenged neighbourhoods”, Price concluded.

Susan Price is the Socialist Alliance candidate for the state seat of Parramatta.

The Socialist Alliance policies for the seat of Parramatta are here.

For more information, contact Susan Price on 0400 320 602.