dog public pool
‘Accessible Water’ is a common design used for outdoor cooling space. Image – Canva.
  • Website is a three-way collaboration between two universities and Landcom
  • Features 40 design patterns
  • Designs are based on real-world examples

A new website offering the tools to help local councils, developers and planners to create cooler cities has been launched.

The Cooling the Commons website – a collaboration between the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Landcom and the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University – offers users 40 patterns that showcase arrangements between social practices and physical infrastructure that support cooler outdoor spaces.

The designs themselves are based on real-world examples, from both Australia and globally – as opposed to design solutions that have not been tried and tested.

Abby Mellick Lopes, Associate Professor in Design Studies at UTS, said that the patterns on the site are not ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions.

“This pattern deck is designed as an informative tool to support the best possible outcomes through collaborative decision-making among stakeholders.

“The deck represents strategies and resources we identify as necessary to ensure liveability in both new and renewing neighbourhoods into the future. Developed to be an interactive resource, it will evolve over time as professionals use it and give us their feedback.”

Associate Professor Lopes, UTS

A specific example Associate Professor referred to was ‘Accessible Water’. This includes splash pools and mistings which she says is an example of a design pattern that integrates water for play, drinking and colling into the public domain.  Using this design in low humidity environments can see peak ambient temperatures reduce by 3 to eight degrees celsius.

“Accessible Water is an important element of the built environment, enabling people to move comfortably out and about on hot days or nights and it is a way to enhance the quality of outdoor play spaces, particularly during summer.” 

Associate Professor Lopes, UTS

Landcom’s Director of Sustainability and Learning, Lauren Kajewski, said the collaboration between the three parties represents a partnership that will ultimately shape sustainable and innovative communities.

“Landcom has a strong commitment to collaborate with universities and industry partners through our Roundtable, so that academia and the development industry can work with, and learn from, each other.

This enables us to create better outcomes for our communities as well as to inspire the rest of industry. This pattern deck is a perfect example of such an impact.”

Lauren Kajewski, Landcom’s Director of Sustainability and Learning

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