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Growing Home

Cooling Our Neighbourhoods

Cities are full of roofs and roads which trap significantly more heat than green spaces. The heat retained in these impermeable surfaces make our neighbourhoods even hotter during heatwaves particularly at night in a phenomenon known as Urban Heat Island Effect.

Brimbank is highly vulnerable to heat island effect as more than 60% of our municipality is covered in impermeable surfaces such as roads, carparks, house roofs and footpaths.

 

While heatwaves are a familiar part of summer for many Australians, they are also the biggest killer in terms of extreme weather events. With over 3000 people killed and more than 7000 people hospitalised in the last decade due to the effects of heat.

 

This article from the ABC News explains the different ways that extreme heat impacts our health and that it is not just those we think of as vulnerable to heat that are at risk.

 

Australia’s Silent Killer  (Cockburn, P., Logan, T., 2023, ABC Health & Wellbeing).


An easy way to begin to reduce heat in our neighbourhoods is to use nature! Trees and other vegetation provide shade and cool the air through evapotranspiration. They also provide a wealth of other benefits including reducing air pollution, reducing heating and cooling costs, providing food and increasing biodiversity.

Over the coming year, we will be distributing trees and other plants to Brimbank residents for planting in private gardens or on nature strips.

We are keen to hear about your experience of extreme heat and what methods you are currently using to stay cool during extreme heat.

If you are interested in adopting a tree and/or planting a nature strip garden, please complete the survey and tell us about what type of tree would suit your home.

Stay up to date with this project by completing the  COOLING OUR NEIGHBOURHOODS SURVEY or email coordinator@kcnh.org.au to join the mailing list

This project is supported by Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation and Brimbank City Council's Community Grants Programs

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ADOPT A TREE!

So far we have distributed 1250 trees to residents in Brimbank for planting around their homes! 

 

The project is providing productive, deciduous, native and indigenous varieties.

 

We have two tree collection days coming up in 2024!

 

If you haven't yet signed up to adopt a tree, you can register by completing our survey at:

 

COOLING OUR NEIGHBOURHOODS SURVEY

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NATURE STRIP GARDENS

Tapping the potential of our nature strips!

 Our nature strips gardens are well under way, with a nature strips garden in various stages of creation in Sunshine West, Sunshine, Albion and Ardeer.

Each nature strip is being planted out with a mix of indigenous grasses and flowering herbs. The species we are using can be found HERE

In May we held a workshop facilitated by Edible Eden's Karen Sutherland looking at Increasing Biodiversity, Habitat and Pollinator Corridors on Nature Strips.

 

In coming weeks, we'll have some boxes of indigenous plants available to giveaway to support community to begin to create their own wildlife gardens using indigenous plants.

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Climate Adaptation and Tackling Urban Heat Island

Interested in learning more about how you can use the strategic placement of trees, shrubs and annual crops to both cool your home (and in some cases help reduce winter drafts)?

Over the past year we have held workshops supporting community to learn about how to use nature-based cooling strategies to keep their homes cooler in summer and warmer in winter. If you missed out on attending one of these sessions, get in touch and we can send you some printed resources that will help you get started. 

Coming up in 2024 we will be running a sustainable home design workshop to support people thinking about reno's to incorporate passive cooling and heating features into their homes. 

 

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