Campbelltown City Council has partnered with Western Sydney University to launch a heat sensor project to measure the air temperature in 110 locations across the council area over summer.
The research findings will inform new policies aimed at reducing urban heat and cooling the suburbs.
This week the sensors will be installed in trees in a grid pattern across the Local Government Area to collect temperature information at 10-minute intervals over a three-month period, until February 2019.
The data captured by the sensors will provide accurate and detailed information that will be used to develop and update policies aimed at reducing the heat in urban areas, help communities become more resilient and improve the local environment.
Mayor Cr George Brticevic said the sensors were being placed primarily in trees or on Council infrastructure at a height of at least 3m throughout parks, laneways, median strips, roads and nature strips outside private properties including homes.
“This is an important initiative that will provide us with the critical data to help us understand the impact of heat across our city and find ways to reduce it in the long-term so our suburbs are cooler in summer and more comfortable to live in,’’ Cr Brticevic said.
“We want to find ways to reduce the heat generated in our urban areas and in doing so, create a truly sustainable place to live and visit. This initiative will help us to understand what we can do to make a difference,” he said.
“I would like to thank the residents and the broader community who are already supporting this project by agreeing to accommodate sensors on their property.’’
Dr Sebastian Pfautsch, Research Theme Fellow - Environmental Sustainability at Western Sydney University, said the Greater Sydney Basin is warming as a result of the combined effects of climate change and rapid urbanisation.
“We know that the urban heat island effect is especially striking in Western Sydney, with an increasing number of hot and very hot days. However, no air temperature data is available for the Campbelltown City Council area as official weather stations can only be found outside the local government area,” Pfautsch said.
“The heat sensor project allows us to gauge detailed information into the micro climate of the region.”
Researchers from Western Sydney University will use the data collected from the heat sensors to generate detailed temperature maps that will help understand daytime heating and night time cooling at unprecedented scale.
Of special interest will be hot days and heatwaves and how they impact urban microclimate.