Painting the town white is green!
After a hot, still day parts of the city can be up to seven degrees hotter than the surrounding countryside. Dr Andrew Coutts, of Monash University's Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, says a phenomenon known as the ''urban heat island'' effect means that built-up zones are often warmer than rural areas, particularly after dark.
''Urban areas store heat during the day and slowly release it during the night,'' he says. ''Meanwhile, rural areas can cool rapidly because soil and vegetation don't store as much warmth.''
The urban heat island effect is present all year round, but it becomes a problem during the hotter months.