Urban form and urban heat mitigation: a study of Brisbane

\Urban form is defined as the physical characteristics that make up built-up areas, including the shape, size, density and configuration of settlements. It can be considered at different scales: regional, urban, neighbourhood, block and street”(RTPI, 2015). The traditional urban form that has developed in Brisbane is a low-density urban form which favours automobile transport rather than pedestrian movement. While designing for compactness to accommodate increasing population and also for efficiency in regards with public transport the problems about heat stress might become more serious and design decisions have to be taken carefully considering the compactness and greenery paradox. The paradox is that the increase in density is often achieved by compromising the greenery and greenery is important to tackle urban heat island effect enhanced by increase in the density. Brisbane. Clean, Green, Sustainable (2017-2031) has tried to emphasize the issue of the conflict between compactness and greenery. It states “As it grows and densifies, urban heat will become more of a problem. Brisbane must plan and act now before heat impacts the city’s liveability” (Council, 2017). It also states that “Brisbane’s urban form is now changing, with more higher-density ‘urban villages’ going up around public transport stations and centres of business activity. This ensures new housing is located closer to where people work and the services they need, infrastructure is used efficiently and car travel is reduced” (Council, 2017).   

This research will examine the relationships between urban design and health outcomes, focusing on two specific aspects of the urban environment: urban form and urban heat. This research will also examine whether the urban design and urban planning policies advance the improvement of urban health outcomes through urban planning.

Advisory Team: Dr Sara Alidoust, Dr Anne Cleary

Project members

Renuka BHOGE

PhD Candidate