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Is it time to turn western Sydney into a city of fountains? It might help beat the heat

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The secret to more livable, cooler Australian cities may lie with the ancient Romans and a network of fountains like the Trevi and those in Piazza Navona, a new report on tackling urban heat has found.

Rome has a network of 2,000 fountains which draw huge crowds daily to enjoy their cooling effects in the dense city.

Sydney planners should take note, says the president of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Barry Calvert.

According to the Cooling Western Sydney study undertaken jointly by the University of New South Wales and Sydney Water, while greenery does have a cooling effect, the most effective results come from a combination of water-based technologies – these include fountains – and cool material technologies such as cool roofs and pavements.

The study used sophisticated modelling and expertise in microclimatic research to evaluate the impact of urban heat mitigation technologies (greenery, water and cool materials) in western Sydney.

It then modelled specific sites in western Sydney to assess the impact of specific technologies, including reducing energy…

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