AMOS Melbourne Annual Workshop:
Cities in a Changing Climate
Melbourne Regional Centre Sub-Editor and UNSW, Sydney
The AMOS Melbourne Centre hosted its annual workshop
in November at the Bureau of Meteorology. This year, the
workshop discussed the impacts of climate change in cities,
with a particular focus on Melbourne. This is a significant issue;
it is estimated that more than 54% of the global population lives
in cities, and in Australia, this figure increases to approximately
90%. Due to the large population and some uniquely urban
challenges, mitigating these impacts is a huge task, and as
demonstrated at the workshop, one that requires a diverse
range of expertise.
Dr Blair Trewin from the Bureau of Meteorology started the
discussion, presenting an informative and sobering introduction
to the future climate projections for Melbourne. This includes
an increasing likelihood of heat extremes, which have a greater
impact in the city due to the urban heat island effect.
Preparing for heat related impacts was a key theme of the
workshop. Peter Symes from the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
discussed how they are strategically planning the gardens to
include species that will be resilient to the changing climate,
as well as providing a comfortable place for the increasing
numbers of visitors. Dr Asieh Motazedian from Brimbank City
Council later demonstrated how Brimbank Council is applying
heat mitigation strategies in its design of new urban parklands
and street redevelopments to improve residents’ thermal
comfort and limit heat-related health impacts.
Professor Nigel Tapper from Monash University presented a
snapshot of the urban climate research that he has been involved
with, including mitigating heat health impacts and water
sensitive urban design. Water management was a key focus of
many speakers, with Mr Bruce Rhodes from Melbourne Water
discussing how Melbourne Water are planning for the future to
ensure water security for the Melbourne area. Councillor Cathy
Oke from Melbourne City Council introduced to everyone
the many climate policies that Melbourne City Council are
implementing, further focussing on water management.
Heat extremes and water management are not the only
considerations for ensuring Melbourne is resilient to future
climate impacts. In an informative presentation, Mr Fin
Robertson from the Level Crossing Removal Authority
demonstrated how climate projections are being used to
ensure that one of Melbourne’s biggest ongoing infrastructure
developments will withstand possible future climate extremes.
Dr Zoe Loh from CSIRO spoke about the many approaches
that CSIRO implement for atmospheric emissions monitoring,
including the the vital baseline station at Cape Grim. Dr Roger
Dargaville from Monash University discussed energy policy,
including the current structure of Melbourne’s energy systems
and innovative approaches to redesign urban energy systems.
Throughout the day there were enthusiastic discussio ns
following each of the distinguished speakers’ presentations.
On behalf of the workshop organisers, Tim Morrow and Martin
Jucker, I’d like to thank the speakers and the attendees, for
making the workshop a success. We hope to see everyone
return next year for another great workshop.