Developed by industry-leading experts in the field of High Performance Architecture (HPA) at UNSW’s School of Built Environment, the Managing Urban Heat short course equips participants with the scientific knowledge, practical methods, and cutting-edge tools needed to effectively manage urban heat and create cooler, more comfortable cities.

Uncover the key factors influencing urban climates, including population growth, industrial and transport-related waste heat, development patterns, and sustainable urban planning. Through a comprehensive exploration of best-practice case studies and evidence-based approaches, participants will gain valuable insights and learn from real-world examples.


Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture


Built Environment

Delivery Mode



23 Oct 2023


35 hours



What will I learn?

Harnessing the latest advancements in modelling and simulation technology, this course will empower planners, architects, urban designers, and sustainable development consultants to make informed decisions in their efforts to mitigate urban heat. By integrating scientific research and the expertise garnered from significant projects conducted by the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL), participants will learn practical strategies that can be directly applied to real-world scenarios.

By the end of this short course, you will be able to:

  1. Recognise the major climatic phenomena and mechanisms in the urban environment affecting the performance of urban buildings and open spaces.
  2. Analyse the specific impact of the urban climate on the energy consumption of buildings, thermal comfort, human health and the global environmental performance of the urban built environment.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and methods of data collection, modelling and simulation which can be used for identifying local urban overheating problems and analysing cooling potential of mitigation strategies.

The course includes five modules, representing topics in areas of:

  • Climate change challenges,
  • Global impacts of urban overheating,
  • Data collection and monitoring techniques,
  • Microclimate modelling methods,
  • Case study examples (Australian and the Asia-Pacific region).

After completing this course, you will have expanded your skill set and gained a comprehensive understanding of sustainable, cool urban environments.

How will I learn?

This course will be delivered 100% online and combines lectures, discussion forums, online learning activities, and self-study. It will delivered as asynchronous study over a 5-week duration, and cohort based.  

Total duration is 35 hours, including self-study.

On completion of the course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion and a digital badge from UNSW.


Participants who complete this course can then undertake a further assessment in a microcredential unit for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for postgraduate study. 

Who should take this course?

This course is appropriate for both professionals and students with no programming experience from different disciplines such as architecture, landscape, urban planning, building and construction, and surveying. 

The course will be of relevance to built environment practitioners including architects, planners, landscape architects, construction managers and engineers; managers and regulators across the levels of government; and 'allied' professionals in civil society organisations.

Our course is CPD endorsed.

Who is leading this course?

Associate Professor Lan Ding

Lan Ding is an Associate Professor in the School of Built Environment. She received her PhD at the University of Sydney's Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning. Prior to joining the Faculty of Built Environment at UNSW, Lan held the position of Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO (2000-2011) and Senior Lecturer at the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre at the University of Wollongong (2011-September 2013).

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