05 Feb, 2019

City of Adelaide Helping the Community Prepare for Heatwaves

Recent heatwaves in Adelaide have put rising temperatures front and centre in many people’s minds.

To help the community prepare for a changing climate, the City of Adelaide, on behalf of Resilient East, is hosting Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot at the Adelaide Town Hall on 6 February, where a panel of experts will work through a hypothetical extended heatwave and its impacts. Around 850 people are expected to attend.

The Resilient East Project is an initiative between the Campbelltown City Council, the cities of Adelaide, Burnside, Norwood Payneham & St Peters, Prospect, Tea Tree Gully, Unley and the Town of Walkerville.

The goal of the project is to improve the resilience of communities, infrastructure, local economies and natural environment so they can cope with the impacts and challenges of climate change.

Panellists at the event include representatives from SA Health, Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), SA Power Networks, SA SES, South Australian Tourism Commission, Adelaide Sustainable Building Network, Business SA, the Australian Red Cross, and environmental scientist and explorer Tim Jarvis.

The panel will work through the challenges posed by heatwaves in Adelaide as well as practical actions that people can take to manage risks.

Lord Mayor of Adelaide Sandy Verschoor said that the City of Adelaide wants to ensure that the community is prepared for heatwaves.

“Our hot weather has already reached the levels predicted for 2030 and we are living through this right now – we have just endured two heatwaves with temperatures reaching 46.6 degrees in metropolitan Adelaide, a record for the city.

“Heatwaves kill more people than any other natural disaster in Australia. We are moving into new territory with climate change – heatwaves are more intense, longer, and there are more hot areas spread out across city and metro areas.

“The panel will be imagining what it will be like to live in Adelaide in 2025 if we continue down this pathway. Collaboration is vital to respond to such a complex problem that affects our health, our electricity grid, the environment, businesses, tourism, events and delivery of services.

“The dangers of heatwaves are real and present, and this event aims to help us to better prepare for them and discuss how we can reduce risks, as well as actions we can all take to reduce our carbon emissions and live more sustainably.”

An online heat mapping tool will be launched at the event. It will enable councils to make more informed decisions regarding urban planning, tree planting, and use of materials and surfaces to minimise urban and heat islands.

The heat maps will also be available for any member of the public to access and zoom down to their street and house at two metre resolution. This will help communities see how local trees, green cover and water can provide benefits for properties and households.

The maps are available to view here.

The City of Adelaide wants to understand how the community responds to and prepares for extreme heat and heatwaves, including where people go to stay out of the heat. People are encouraged to take part in a short survey at Your Say.

The City of Adelaide is working hard to build our community’s resilience to climate change through projects such as tree planting, urban greening and water sensitive urban design. To do our part to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions we are switching to renewable energy, installing solar PV and storage on council buildings and facilities, undertaking energy efficiency projects, and supporting our events to become more sustainable.

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot is FREE to attend and is on at Adelaide Town Hall on 6 February at 6pm. Bookings can be made here.

For more information

Paula Stevens