Sydney's western suburbs

PHOTO: Sydney’s urban sprawl Photo: top images -Image copyright: Nearmap, 2020, bottom Image copyright: S. Pfautsch, 2020

The relentless sprawl into Sydney’s west is far from creating an Australian suburban dream, more an Australian nightmare, an academic says.

Poorly designed, crammed-in homes in new developments west of the city are reaching hazardous temperatures, Sebastian Pfautsch says.

Pfautsch is an associate professor of urban studies at Western Sydney University and says the urban sprawl to suburbs in the city’s outer west could be a ticking time bomb for the health of hundreds of thousands of people, with some new suburbs experiencing heat 15 degrees hotter than other parts of the city.

He took six readings in the Western Suburbs last summer that recorded more than 50 degrees celcius.

“Which is half way to boiling point. In some places of the world, particularly Scandinavia, you may use that as a sauna temperature.”

But people have to roast in these temperatures for hours, he says.