Maps show Peninsula 'heat island' without vegetation
Maps within Central Coast Council's draft Greener Spaces Strategy show the relationship between lack of vegetation on the Peninsula and the "heat island effect".
The Peninsula is shown to be more than four degrees hotter where vegetation does not exist than baseline temperatures on hot summer days.
"For example, the forest within Blackwall Mountain is more than four degrees Celsius cooler than nearby urban housing in Ettalong Beach," the strategy states.
"An urban heat island occurs when the urban area is significantly warmer than the surrounding less developed areas.
"Heat islands develop due to urban materials such as concrete, asphalt, tiled rooves and gravel absorbing rather than reflecting heat which occurs when the area is more heavily vegetated.
"The concept of the urban heat island has been in existence for over 50 years.
"However, as society becomes more urbanised, greater emphasis needs to be placed upon the effect during urban planning.
"Houses and other buildings will be hotter in areas where the heat island effect is operating."
The strategy said this would result in higher cooling costs or less comfort indoors.
Taking a walk outdoors on hot days would also be less comfortable than if canopy cover was present.
If left unabated, "the effects of the Urban Heat Island will continue and possibly intensify as a result of continued development intensification of the urban centres," the strategy stated.
Central Coast Council agenda 2.3, 27 Jul 2021