A Sydney suburb is banning dark roofs to tackle climate change

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  • To help lower temperatures in Sydney’s emerging Wilton suburb, dark roofs will be banned and backyards expanded for all new houses.
  • In this area, residential lots will also need to be big enough to accommodate a tree in the garden.
  • Other cities across the globe are also taking steps to protect public health as climate change worsens.

Dark roofs will be banned and backyards expanded for all new houses built in Sydney‘s emerging Wilton suburb, as part of planning controls that are being introduced to help lower temperatures in the city.

Under plans set out by the New South Wales government, the slate grey roofing typical of much Australian residential construction must be abandoned in favour of lighter, more reflective alternatives that are able to passively cool a building.

The Wilton Development Control Plan for the suburb in western Sydney will also require residential lots to be large enough to accommodate a tree in the garden.

Together with the cool roofs, the hope is that this will help to combat the urban heat island effect, which sees cities experience higher temperatures than the surrounding area due to their dense, dark infrastructure, which absorbs light and re-emits it as heat.

“Western Sydney already experiences blistering temperatures of over 50 degrees in summer,” planning and public spaces minister Rob Stokes told the Sydney Morning Herald.

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