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The New South Wales Government has provided Penrith City Council with a $400,000 grant to develop a Green Grid Strategy.

Located in Sydney’s west, Penrith was awarded the title of ‘hottest place on the planet’ during summer.

Penrith Mayor, Ross Fowler, said the funding will allow council to develop a strategic plan which includes a network of high-quality green spaces across the local government area.

“The Green Grid strategy will develop a framework to support active transport opportunities and connect vibrant community open spaces, water ways, bushland, schools, public transport and town centres - to help make these more accessible for everyone,” he said.

“Penrith knows first-hand the complexity of challenges when it comes to urban heat; this grant will help tackle this growing problem.”

Penrith City Council and Western Sydney University (WSU) are currently undertaking a research project to assess the link between development and urban heat.

The project involves collecting heat data from 120 heat sensors over summer. Interim results already show a link between development and urban heat.

The five-week measurement period started on December 12 and included January 4, 2020, when Penrith’s temperature soared to a staggering 48.9 degrees.

Final results from Council’s heat sensor project will be available mid-2020.

Penrith City Council general manager, Warwick Winn, said that the development of the Green Grid strategy is another key step in tackling urban heat, because it will create principles that can be applied to other areas that are undergoing growth and development to maximise green cover.

“The Green Grid strategy will outline how to increase canopy and retrofit solutions to older suburban areas, as well as those undergoing urban renewal,” Winn said. 

 “It will also provide opportunities to work with other councils in Western Sydney, who are similarly challenged by urban heat.”

The Penrith Green Grid Strategy will be completed mid-2021.

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