Urban and built environment issues

Urban heat island effect

Ecological Engineering

Urban forestry, urban greenspace, water sensitive urban design using vegetation and living roofs/walls all provide shade and absorb incident solar radiation.

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Conventional Engineering

In the absence of vegetation, physical shade/sail structures may provide one of the few means to reduce heat exposure to people in exposed spaces (but will not address the heat island effect).

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Urban storm water

Ecological Engineering

Water sensitive urban design (WSUD) allowing drainage via vegetated retention basins reduces peak flows and filters contaminants from water prior to discharge to streams.

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Conventional Engineering

Engineered drainage via hard channels results in direct discharge to surface waters without filtering of contaminants, and may produce increased storm-flow rates and flood potential.

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Built environment

Ecological Engineering

Evidence is growing that use of natural building products such as wood lowers sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activation and provides a healthier working and living environment.

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Conventional Engineering

Use of non-natural building products.

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