New tech charts Melbourne’s coolest routes

Two people walking along a footpath in a green park.

Find the coolest routes through the city on hot summer days by using our new digital wayfinding tool.

As Melbourne experiences more frequent, extended and intense heatwaves due to climate change, the Cool Routes tool is designed to help you travel through the city more safely and comfortably.

Exposure to extreme heat can impact infrastructure, businesses, plants, animals and people, causing heat exhaustion, heat stroke and sometimes death. So it is very important to be prepared for hot weather.

Stay hydrated
Carry a water bottle and refill at one of our 60 hydration stations at key sites including Swanston Street, Bourke Street Mall and the Tan Track. Check out our interactive map of drinking fountains or download the free smartphone app Choose Tap to find nearby water station locations when you’re on the go.

To identify cooler streets for the Cool Routes tool, we investigated tree canopy, temperatures of different surface types and building materials, green spaces, and trends in how people walk and cycle around the city.

We also installed sensors to capture real-time data on air temperature, wind, humidity and air quality. This helps us verify the best routes and understand how we can design and build a cooler future for Melbourne.

For example, sensor data shows that places with a healthy tree canopy are cooler by two to five degrees. We plant around 3000 trees each year, as urban greening is a key part of our response to climate change.

To find out more, visit Heatwaves or use the Cool Routes tool on your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer.

You might also be interested to read our top tips for staying cool in summer.

Caring for people experiencing homelessness
We are offering water bottles, cooling towels, insect repellent, sunscreen and sun hats to people experiencing homelessness through our partners as part of our Heatwave Response Plan. If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough, you can let us know by using this online tool. Remember, if the person is under 18, or if it is an emergency, call 000.

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