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Urban heat is an increasing threat to the liveability and productivity of cities, made worse by more frequent and extreme heat days and heat waves caused by climate change. Exacerbated by population growth and urban densification, urban heat has emerged as a key policy and planning issue for governments around the world.

This paper explains urban heat science in a way intended to inform good evidence-based urban heat policy. The paper draws from the extensive portfolio of urban heat research conducted by the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) and from the broader published scientific literature.