BAMOS Vol 30 No. 4 2017 - Page 14

14 BAMOS Dec 2017 Regional Centres AMOS Melbourne Annual Workshop: Cities in a Changing Climate Sarah Perry Melbourne Regional Centre Sub-Editor and UNSW, Sydney The AMOS Melbourne Centre hosted its annual workshop in November at the Bureau of Meteorology. This year, the workshop discussed the impacts of climate change in cities, with a particular focus on Melbourne. This is a significant issue; it is estimated that more than 54% of the global population lives in cities, and in Australia, this figure increases to approximately 90%. Due to the large population and some uniquely urban challenges, mitigating these impacts is a huge task, and as demonstrated at the workshop, one that requires a diverse range of expertise. Dr Blair Trewin from the Bureau of Meteorology started the discussion, presenting an informative and sobering introduction to the future climate projections for Melbourne. This includes an increasing likelihood of heat extremes, which have a greater impact in the city due to the urban heat island effect. Preparing for heat related impacts was a key theme of the workshop. Peter Symes from the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria discussed how they are strategically planning the gardens to include species that will be resilient to the changing climate, as well as providing a comfortable place for the increasing numbers of visitors. Dr Asieh Motazedian from Brimbank City Council later demonstrated how Brimbank Council is applying heat mitigation strategies in its design of new urban parklands and street redevelopments to improve residents’ thermal comfort and limit heat-related health impacts. Professor Nigel Tapper from Monash University presented a snapshot of the urban climate research that he has been involved with, including mitigating heat health impacts and water sensitive urban design. Water management was a key focus of many speakers, with Mr Bruce Rhodes from Melbourne Water discussing how Melbourne Water are planning for the future to ensure water security for the Melbourne area. Councillor Cathy Oke from Melbourne City Council introduced to everyone the many climate policies that Melbourne City Council are implementing, further focussing on water management. Heat extremes and water management are not the only considerations for ensuring Melbourne is resilient to future climate impacts. In an informative presentation, Mr Fin Robertson from the Level Crossing Removal Authority demonstrated how climate projections are being used to ensure that one of Melbourne’s biggest ongoing infrastructure developments will withstand possible future climate extremes. Dr Zoe Loh from CSIRO spoke about the many approaches that CSIRO implement for atmospheric emissions monitoring, including the the vital baseline station at Cape Grim. Dr Roger Dargaville from Monash University discussed energy policy, including the current structure of Melbourne’s energy systems and innovative approaches to redesign urban energy systems. Throughout the day there were enthusiastic discussio ns following each of the distinguished speakers’ presentations. On behalf of the workshop organisers, Tim Morrow and Martin Jucker, I’d like to thank the speakers and the attendees, for making the workshop a success. We hope to see everyone return next year for another great workshop.