Economic value of urban heat mitigation (IRP2-WP6)


This work package will explore the UHI mitigation produced from different scales of investment in urban greening, and quantify in dollar terms the value of this benefit, for example by reduced mortality/morbidity, reduced energy demand and increased productivity. The list of possible areas for benefit-transfer will be fully developed in WP3 and WP4.  Increasing levels of investment in green public open space, and associated investments in passive and active irrigation of those spaces, produce increasing benefits in UHI mitigation.

In Tranche 1 CRCWSC research was able to show the clear physical urban cooling benefits of different levels and types of urban greening, but there is currently no credible estimate of the economic value of the cooling produced under different scenarios of WSUD adoption. Therefore there is currently no way to use UHI mitigation in any policy position or business case for greening cities and integrated water management policy changes. This work package will seek to overcome this critical barrier in policy knowledge, combining expertise in economic assessment (UWA and RMCG), UHI modelling (Monash University) and urban design response (E2DESIGNLAB). Outputs will be dollar value estimates of the UHI mitigation value produced under different greening and integrated water management settings.

The first phase of this work will involve development of the modelling and scenario building approach for a Study Site in Melbourne. The study site will be selected based on availability of data and information required to develop the scenarios.

After finalisation of the framework (see Figure below), development of landscape scenarios will involve derivation of a range of physical variables critical for modelling (e.g. plan area fraction of paved area, buildings, trees, grass, open water bodies, etc.) for four different scenarios:

  1. No WSUD or whole of water cycle management (WWCM);
  2. Current regulatory settings for WSUD/WWCM;
  3. Proposed changes for WSUD/WWCM; and
  4. A targeted UHI mitigation scenario to achieve a desired cooling (e.g. 2 degrees on extreme heat days).

This component of the IRP2 project will be lead by Professor Nigel Tapper from Monash University.

Last updated: 2nd Feb 2017