Time for a cool change

Michael TraillAlbany Advertiser
The Chester Pass Road roundabout.
Camera IconThe Chester Pass Road roundabout. Credit: Laurie Benson

Albany’s population has the potential to dramatically increase because of rising global temperatures, as people escape warming cities to cooler climates, according to a WA academic.

Leading a contingent of 23 undergraduate and masters architecture students, who travelled to Albany this week, the University of WA’s school of design lecturer Craig McCormack said sustainable development was at the forefront of design thinking.

The students are working on three projects in Albany, which focus on sustainable housing and events as well as residential and commercial solar power collection within the city’s limits.

UWA School of Design lecturer Craig McCormack.
Camera IconUWA School of Design lecturer Craig McCormack. Credit: Laurie Benson/Picture: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

With energy costs, population and global temperatures rising, Mr McCormack said populations would be enticed to move to cities in cooler climates, including Albany. “There only have to be a couple of degrees increase in temperature, people can become very uncomfortable in places like Perth,” he said.

“And maybe as the temperature increases, Perth will become less liveable and people might want to come down here.

“If you take into consideration the rising population, rising fuel costs, it’s going to drive energy prices up. You won’t be able to afford to live in a hot city.”

Mr McCormack said architects and designers in 2020 had to ensure a smooth transition of growing populations in the future.

“The challenge is to ensure that if people do come down, and I think they will, you maintain what’s cool about Albany, without flooding the place and turning it into a really dense city,” he said.

“Part of the charm with Albany is that it does have a smaller population, you can easily get your head around the place and feel like you belong here really quickly. So we’re interested in seeing how we can integrate great design and sustainable design down here.”

“We’ve brought the students down to give them a taste of Albany and see what they can do.”

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