Urban heat island effect

Urban heat island effect

Pale pavement trial

Reducing temperatures in urban areas

The City of Sydney is trialling a lighter-coloured pavement in Myrtle Street, between Abercrombie and Smithers streets in Chippendale, as part of an investigation into ways of reducing temperatures in urban areas.

Lighter-coloured surfaces do not generally absorb as much light, or retain as much heat as dark surfaces and therefore have the potential to reduce temperatures, result in lower energy bills for surrounding buildings, and improve road strength.


For more information about the pale pavement trial, please contact:

Iraj Shrestha
Project Coordinator02 9265 9333

Measuring the effect in Sydney

The City of Sydney is collecting information to see how shade trees and pavement colour affect urban temperatures. Extreme and persistent high temperatures cause stress to the health of people, plants and animals.

Cities can be a few degrees warmer than regional areas because surfaces such as roads, foothpaths and the sides of buildings absorb and release energy from the sun.

Monitoring systems have been installed in Chippendale and Redfern.  The poles contain a temperature and humidity meter, and one has a pyranometer which measures the strength of the sun. Each also has a unit that sends the information to a server where it can be viewed online, and a small solar panel to power it all.

Real-time results can be viewed at ADMS using the link on this page. On the ADMS website select ‘Dashboards’ tab and then ‘City of Sydney’. Advanced users who wish to download data, select the ‘Reports’ tab and then ‘Subscriber’.

The City intends to work with a university research partner to best work out costs and benefits of solutions to reduce the urban heat island effect. This could be a way to address rising temperatures resulting from climate change.

Measuring the effect will help to form the way we design our city and make it a more comfortable place to live and work.

The University of NSW, in partnership with HASSEL, developed a report called ‘Micro-Urban Climatic Thermal Emissions in a Medium-Density Residential Precinct’ which was based on a thermal image technique in Victoria Park. 


ADMSUniversity of NSW

Last updated: Thursday, 4 May 2017