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Summer cooling potential of urban vegetation—a modeling study for Melbourne, Australia

1 CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship and CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, Highett, VIC 3190, Australia;
2 CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship and CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, VIC 3195, Australia;
3 Nursery & Garden Industry Australia, Castle Hill, NSW 2154, Australia

Special Issues: Urban Greening for Low Carbon Cities

The summer cooling potential of urban vegetation is investigated using an urban climate model for the current and future climates in the Melbourne central business district (CBD) area with various urban forms and vegetation schemes. Simulation results suggest that the average seasonal summer temperatures can be reduced in the range of around 0.5 and 2°C if the Melbourne CBD were replaced by vegetated suburbs and planted parklands, respectively, benefiting a reduction in the number of hot days. It was also found that despite the projected warming in the future and variations in the climate projections among different climate models, the average seasonal cooling potential due to various urban vegetation schemes may not change significantly in comparison with those predicted for the current climate, indicating little dependency on climate change. This finding suggests that the average seasonal cooling potential as a result of urban vegetation in future climates may be empirically quantified in similar amounts to those under the current climate. When urban climate models are used, the cooling potential of urban vegetation in future climates may be quantified by modeling several selected years with one or a few climate models.
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