Council recognised for Climate Change Adaptation – wins Excellence in the Environment Awards

Council recognised for Climate Change Adaptation – wins Excellence in the Environment Awards

Monday, 2 November 2020

Penrith City Council has won the Climate Change Adaptation Award at the Local Government NSW Excellence in Environment Awards for its Cooling the City Masterclass held in February this year.

The Climate Change Adaptation Award recognises outstanding initiatives undertaken to address climate change risks and vulnerabilities. The award incorporates, but is not limited to:

  • Council programs and policies that manage climate change risks on the community and Council operations.
  • Empowering community and/or business to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
  • Programs that increase the capacity of species, ecosystems and landscapes to adapt to climate variability.

The sold out Cooling the City Masterclass was attended by over 350 built environment professionals from across NSW, Victoria and the ACT. The event featured international, national and regional experts who explored practical solutions to the challenge of urban heat in the context of our changing climate.
Penrith Mayor and Sustainability Champion Karen McKeown OAM was thrilled with the news of the award.

“Penrith City Council is a leader in sustainability and innovation, these awards further recognise our efforts in those areas as we continue to deliver outcomes for our community in sustainability and the urban environment,” Cr McKeown said.

“Council formally identified heat as a key climate risk through a climate change risk assessment process that led to the adoption of the Cooling the City Strategy in 2015. The strategy seeks to ensure that cooler, healthier, and more liveable urban spaces are a priority.”
Since adopting the Strategy, Council has undertaken actions within its own operations to create a cooler and more liveable city but was keen to do more about the contribution of new developments to urban heat.

“The Masterclass was successful in addressing a strategic priority for the region and it brought together the right stakeholders to help achieve the vision for Penrith and Western Sydney,” Cr McKeown said.

“The Masterclass provided the impetus for Councillors and Council staff to review the Cooling the City Strategy and undertake other actions including the preparation of a Green Grid Strategy and planning reforms in line with the Local Strategic Planning Statement.”

Drawing on the latest research, presenters put forward practical case studies, leading planning approaches directing the state and the business case for action across all sectors. Council has ensured ongoing leverage from the Masterclass through the online promotion of the presentations and new partnerships for ‘on-ground’ action.

For more details on the Cooling the City Masterclass and the guest speaker presentations go to:

Photo captions: Dr Diane Pataki (University of Utah) spoke about ecological planning and design process, which brings together urban planners, designers, ecologists, and hydrologists to facilitate the design and planning of healthy and liveable places.

Dr Josh Byrne (Josh Byrne and Associates shared learnings from several projects in Perth where urban heat mitigation is addressed through an integrated approach to built form, landscape and water management.

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Monday, 2 November 2020.