A woman standing in an outdoor environment with a framed certificate and trophy.
ACHIEVEMENT: Wagga Wagga City Council Strategic Sustainability Advisor Samantha Pascall with the Local Government NSW ‘Excellence in the Environment’ Award and trophy.


Council’s Urban Cooling Strategy wins state environmental award

Published: 14 Dec 2023 4:15pm

Wagga Wagga City Council’s Environment team are in high spirits this week, as they celebrate winning a Local Government NSW ‘Excellence in the Environment’ Award for their Urban Cooling Strategy 2022–2052.

The Awards are held annually to recognise outstanding achievements by local councils in managing and protecting the environment.

The strategy won the award for Division B (population of 30,000 – 70,000) and also won the Overall Category for Climate Adaptation, which celebrates local council’s innovative and adaptable solutions to climate issues in their region.

A close-up of a framed certificate and a trophy for Excellence in the Environment Awards.
EXCELLENCE: Wagga Wagga City Council has received the Local Government NSW ‘Excellence in the Environment’ Award for its Urban Cooling Strategy 2022 – 2052.

Council Environmental Monitoring Officer Jason Carroll was proud to accept the award on behalf of Council’s Environment Team at the ceremony in Sydney.

“The Urban Cooling Strategy has been a great asset for Council as it has helped inform other strategies and policies, including a bus stop audit to identify areas that may need additional shade,” Mr Carroll said.

“The Urban Heat and Canopy mapping tool is a great way for the community to see current land surface temperatures and canopy heights, and then implement cooling mechanisms from the Action Summary Table.

“Council has already started to implement actions from the document including planting trees around local parks and along Active Travel Paths to help cool the city.”

The Urban Cooling Strategy 2022-2052 is a 30-year plan to help cool the Wagga Wagga Local Government Area through sustainable future planning and development, as well as adapting existing areas.

Council Manager Environment and Regulatory Services Mark Gardiner says it is a tool to increase community health, well-being, resilience and awareness to the effects of climate change and the increasingly warming environment.

“It will enable the local government area to plan for more sustainable neighbourhoods, reduce land surface temperatures in urban areas, increase canopy coverage on public and private land, as well as increase the community’s awareness of urban cooling tools,” Mr Gardiner said.

Aerial heatmap of an urban setting
HEATING UP: Thermal imaging of the city's suburbs clearly shows the temperature difference between hard surfaces and vegetation.

“These tools include the Action Summary Table, which lists several methods community members can use to help reduce the impact of increasing temperatures and heat waves on the community.

“Actions might be planting more trees and shrubs to provide shade, reducing the number of hard surfaces around your home or business, and avoiding darker coloured roofs for houses and sheds where possible.

“There is also the Urban Heat and Canopy Map which shows the land surface temperatures in Wagga Wagga, as well as canopy coverage (greater than three metres) in the area. This helps Council determine where we should be targeting our efforts to increase canopy coverage.”

View the Urban Cooling Strategy 2022-2052