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Could urban greening mitigate suburban thermal inequity?: the role of residents dispositions and household practices


Byrne, J and Ambrey, C and Portanger, C and Lo, A and Matthews, T and Baker, D and Davison, A, Could urban greening mitigate suburban thermal inequity?: the role of residents dispositions and household practices, Environmental Research Letters, 11, (9) Article 095014. ISSN 1748-9326 (2016) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2016 IOP Publishing. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

DOI: doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/9/095014


Over the past decade research on urban thermal inequity has grown, with a focus on denser built environments. In this paper we examine thermal inequity associated with climate change impacts and changes to urban form in a comparatively socio-economically disadvantaged Australian suburb. Local urban densification policies designed to counteract sprawl have reduced block sizes, increased height limits, and diminished urban tree canopy cover (UTC). Little attention has been given to the combined effects of lower UTC and increased heat on disadvantaged residents. Such impacts include rising energy expenditure to maintain thermal comfort (i.e. cooling dwellings). We used a survey of residents (n = 230) to determine their perceptions of climate change impacts; household energy costs; household thermal comfort practices; and dispositions towards using green infrastructure to combat heat. Results suggest that while comparatively disadvantaged residents spend more on energy as a proportion of their income, they appear to have reduced capacity to adapt to climate change at the household scale. We found most residents favoured more urban greening and supported tree planting in local parks and streets. Findings have implications for policy responses aimed at achieving urban climate justice.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:inequality, climate justice, adaptation planning, green infrastructure, Australia, energy, heat, thermal iniquity, urban forest, social survey, resident perceptions
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Social geography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Byrne, J (Professor Jason Byrne)
UTAS Author:Davison, A (Associate Professor Aidan Davison)
ID Code:111026
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:43
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2016-08-26
Last Modified:2018-04-05
Downloads:97 View Download Statistics

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