Urban Cooling Strategy 2022-2052

The Urban Cooling Strategy aims to increase community health, well-being and resilience through planning more sustainable future developments and adapting our existing areas wherever possible.

This will enable our community to:

  • Plan for and create more liveable future neighbourhoods
  • Reduce land surface temperatures in existing urban areas
  • Increase urban canopy coverage on existing public and private land
  • Increase the community’s awareness of urban cooling mechanisms

The Urban Cooling Strategy action summary table lists a number of actions that Council and the community can take to help reduce the impact of increasing temperatures and heat waves on the community.

Wagga Wagga Urban Heat & Canopy Map

The Wagga Wagga Urban Heat & Canopy Map shows thermal land surface temperature and vegetation height classes (greater than 3 metres) over the Wagga Wagga study area. The datasets were acquired via high-resolution aerial photography taken over Wagga Wagga in February 2021.

Wagga Wagga Urban Heat & Canopy Map

Wagga Wagga Urban Heat & Canopy Map FAQs

The mapping tool shows two main datasets:

  1. Land surface temperature. Thermal land surface temperature of the Wagga Wagga study area shown in degrees Celsius
  2. Height stratified canopy cover. Vegetation height classes greater than 3 metres over the Wagga Wagga study area.

Council engaged ArborCarbon (www.arborcarbon.com.au/) to acquire, process and deliver remotely sensed data  using a unique 11-band airborne multispectral camera system (ArborCam) to determine baseline current canopy cover and provide insight into where Council should be targeting their efforts to increase canopy, identify urban heat hotspots and quantify data to help create Council’s Urban Cooling Strategy.

For the purposes of the project, all vegetation greater than 3 metres above the ground was classified as canopy cover.

High-resolution airborne multispectral imagery was acquired at 16,000 ft above ground level over the study area during cloudless conditions on the 19th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 26th of February, between 10:15 and 17:30 local time.

Imagery was acquired for this project with the ArborCam system with a ground sample distance (GSD) ranging from 16 cm/pixel to 48 cm/pixel dependent on the spectral band. The thermal imagery was acquired with a GSD of 200 cm/pixel on the 22nd of February.

The maximum temperature recorded on February 22nd was 29.3°C at Wagga Wagga AMO (BoM reference: 72150)

Approximately 318 square kilometres

The canopy and heat mapping tool boundary area was defined by 27 suburb maps as supplied by Council. Grant funding availability for the project limited the size of the area surveyed also.

Yes. Type in the address or place in the text box in the top left-hand corner of the map and click ‘Search’

The swipe bar allows the user to compare datasets on one side of overlay layer to view against high-resolution real-time imagery.

Solar farms are emitting less heat than surrounding land due to the efficiency of panels absorbing light energy and then converting to electricity, rather than emitting it as heat.

Canopy as defined by the project includes vegetation greater than 3 metres in height. Only vegetation above 3m in height were detected by the multi-spectral camera.

Exposed soil and tilled paddocks containing little, or no moisture appears higher in land surface temperatures when compared to paddocks containing remnant vegetation and/or pasture and cropping.

The high-resolution airborne imagery datasets were geometrically corrected and orthorectified using Post Processing Kinematic Global Positioning System (PPK GPS) and the NSW Government Spatial Services 1m LiDAR derived Digital Terrain Model (www.spatial.nsw.gov.au).

A Digital Surface Model was generated from the acquired imagery for the full extent of the provided Wagga Wagga study area boundary, enabling the stratification of vegetation into five pre-determined height categories as follows: Grass, 0-3m (excluding grass), 3-6m, 6-10m, 10-15m, 15-20m, and >20m. For the purposes of this mapping tool, all vegetation less than 3 metres in height has been removed.

The co-aligned thermal imagery was radiometrically corrected and converted to surface temperature in degrees Celsius by applying a standard emissivity correction of 0.95 across the scene.

Key properties which determine a materials thermal performance in the urban environment are the solar reflectance (albedo) and emissivity.

Emissivity is a ratio that measures the efficiency of a surface at emitting infrared radiation and ranges in value from 0 to 1. Thermal infra-red sensors (including the ArborCam, as well as satellite thermal sensors such as Landsat) measure the infra-red radiation emitted from a surface which is directly related to the object’s temperature and the emissivity of the material. Highly reflective metal surfaces have an emissivity of close to 0. At the other extreme a perfect black body has an emissivity of 1.

A standard emissivity correction of 0.95 was applied to the whole scene, as the majority of surfaces throughout the city are likely to have an emissivity value of around 0.95.

However, certain materials like some polished metals and roofs can have significantly lower emissivity values. This impacts the LST values produced from thermal infra-red sensors, as low emissivity material produces less infra-red radiation for a given surface temperature. These surfaces appear in the imagery as temperatures lower than they actually are.