How can we make our suburbs more sustainable?
Learn how communities can create cooling suburbs and make homes more energy efficient.
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In Mt Resilience, you can see how residents have created cooling suburbs to keep everyone safe from heat waves, which are increasing with climate change.
How to create cooling suburbs
Greendale has been design as a community within a garden, so to keep even the most vulnerable residents safe from drought and heat waves.
Residents are never far from nature and houses and streets are shaded by flame resistant trees. Urban gardens provide plenty of food for people to buy and eat local.
The houses are made to keep heat and smoke out and cool air in, and with light coloured roofs and roads reflecting the sun, they keep the whole town cool - rather than absorb the suns heat.
People make sustainable choices to get around on foot, bikes and public transport. The design of their suburbs mean they are closely connected to shops and a community centre - places they can meet and, when needed, take shelter from heat and smoke.
Greendale's houses are insulated, with double glazed windows and doors that can be tightly closed. And it’s important to shut your curtains and blinds when it’s really hot!
When it rains storm water is captured and stored under-ground or in ponds. Water can be used to irrigate parks, walkways and the green zone that surround Mount Resilience, that also keep the suburbs cool.
Make your home energy efficient
At Greendale in Mt Resilience, the government has legislated housing standards, and provided grants to make sure all houses are energy efficient and insulated. This not only makes houses more comfortable, but also reduces everyone’s bills.
You too can keep your home naturally cool by insulating the ceiling, floors and walls of your home. Insulation will help you stay warm in winter and cool in summer without having to rely on an air conditioner or heating system.
Daily bad habits, like leaving the lights on when you're not in the room, can quickly add up, so be energy conscious around the house. These small tasks can help to reduce your energy costs.
Build north-facing homes
The orientation of homes should be planned to harness seasonal variations of the sun.
In Greendale, the passive design of homes ensures the main living area in each house faces north, which is easier to shade in summer and lets light in during the colder winter months.
This will drastically reduce residents relying on heating and cooling systems to keep their homes comfortable.
Connect to the microgrid
Greendale’s energy system is made up of microgrids connected to the main network. The modular system ensures there are no extensive power outages, so you can get back up and running faster.
Microgrids can draw on solar panels, batteries and other renewable sources in your area. Coordinating these local energy resources can boost power reliability in the event of a natural disaster, making microgrids a good option for communities prone to bushfire and floods.
Create more public spaces
Heatwaves cause more fatalities than any other natural hazard. The elderly and young are especially vulnerable, so it is vital to check in on neighbours during the hottest times. It is also crucial provide equitable ways for everyone to get cool by providing accessible public spaces, including shopping centres, community centres and libraries.
How can Australian towns survive and thrive?
Discover how communities can plan for and respond to climate change with Mt Resilience.Play Mt Resilience now