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17 December 2020 News Release

These are key questions that scientists will focus on in 2021.

The future looks hot for Darwin, with climate change projections predicting a significantly higher number of days above 35°C by 2030. To address this challenge, CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, recently launched five new projects that will be undertaken in collaboration with local partners and the community.

The five new projects focus on these questions:# *How do different people value and use green space in Darwin?*We want to understand how different groups in Darwin use green spaces, like our public parks and gardens, and how their needs and preferences vary. This information will help to improve green spaces in our city.

  1. How can the Larrakia Nation’s understanding of biodiversity inform urban greening? We’re helping to collate a list of Larrakia biodiversity values including habitats and native plant species. These values can then be considered for urban greening projects and protection in Darwin.
  2. How can we provide localised heat and air quality data for Darwin residents to improve their health? We’re working to improve Darwin’s sensor network data.
  3. How can we create a ‘Digital Twin’ of Darwin? A Digital Twin is a detailed virtual replica or model of city, that helps decision-makers to evaluate the success of changes to the city. The initial focus is to measure the change and impact of urban cooling and greening initiatives.
  4. A monitoring, evaluation and learning framework for all the Darwin Living Lab projects.

Nerida Horner, CSIRO Project Director of the Darwin Living Lab and engineer, believes heat mitigation and practical green spaces will be more important than ever as people adapt to living in hotter cities such as Darwin.

“With these projects we are expanding our collaborations with Territory and national experts, local residents and indigenous leaders to achieve the best outcomes for Darwin,” she said.

Nerida is available for interviews. Nerida is a Darwin local, and can answer questions like:

  • What kind of extreme heat can Darwin expect in the future?
  • How can we make Darwin a cooler, more liveable tropical city?
  • And what are CSIRO researchers doing to help Darwin get there?

These projects are part of the Darwin Living Lab, a 10-year collaboration between the Australian and Northern Territory governments and the City of Darwin, under the Darwin City Deal.

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