The soaring temperatures that have scorched Western Sydney in 2017 may soon start to cool off thanks to a new partnership between Sydney Science Park and CSIRO.
Launched by Assistant Minister for Science, Craig Laundy MP, today, the CSIRO Urban Living Lab, at Sydney Science Park, Luddenham, is the first of its kind in Australia, and will provide a testing-ground for researchers, industry, government and communities to collaborate and examine ideas, concepts and inventions.
Among the ideas to be tested, include urban innovations aimed at helping cool down Western Sydney’s ‘Hot-Spots’ or ‘Urban Heat Islands’, such as Penrith, Blacktown and Campbelltown.
Just last month, Western Sydney recorded the highest number of days above 40 degrees.
And by 2030, the region is expected to experience an additional seven days above 35°C per year, placing more exposed communities at risk.
Chairman of the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue, Christopher Brown AM, said the CSIRO’s decision to base their lab at Sydney Science Park, reinforced the region’s emergence as a leader in innovation, and research and technology and would go a long way towards helping cool down the ‘urban heat islands’ that are so prevalent in Western Sydney.
“This partnership between Sydney Science Park and CSIRO is another positive step towards the ongoing development of Western Sydney’s science and innovation sector,” Mr Brown said.
“The region is already known for its work in the areas of bio-medical and health research, and Sydney Science Park, which also plans to house NSWs’ first STEM School, continues to set a new standard when it comes to driving the next generation of jobs, skills and communities.
“This is an opportunity for some of the nation’s big thinkers to come together and look at how new technologies, materials, urban design and green infrastructure can combine to protect Western Sydney against the heat.”
Often referred to as Australia’s own ‘Silicon Valley’, Sydney Science Park, managed by Western Sydney property developers Celestino, is set on over 280ha and upon completion, expected to employ over 12,000 staff, in mostly high-skilled, high-paying jobs. It will also educate 10,000 students in key scientific and technological disciplines, and provide more than 3000 homes.
The CSIRO Urban Living Lab at Sydney Science Park will invite innovators from all over Australia to participate in this new initiative, where under the guidance of CSIRO experts, they can create and test new urban technologies.
Some of the ideas already floated, include the development and application of different types of energy, smart water systems and other sustainable innovations that can respond to climate and population changes.
“This initiative provides an opportunity for some of Australia’s most creative minds to collaborate and potentially unearth new thinking and concepts that will produce sustainable, economic and social outcomes, not just for Western Sydney, but the entire nation,” Mr Brown said.
Celestino is partner of the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue.