thurs 27 may 2021


Planning for heat mitigation and UV protection: translating the ‘what do we want’ into the ‘how do we get it’?


Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world , and within Australia, skin cancer is the most common cancer. Solar ultra-violet (UV) radiation is a grade 1 carcinogen , and is responsible for at least 95% of all skin cancers in Australia, making it one of the most preventable cancers. There are five forms of sun protection, with shade representing the only form of sun protection which can be provided as part of a government’s duty of care.


Since 1998, Cancer Council NSW (CCNSW) has published its evidence-based Shade Guidelines to support the implementation of natural and built shade in public places . While we know good quality shade can reduce UV exposure by up to 75% , to date success in influencing the planning sector has been limited.


Partnering with several academic experts leading urban cooling strategies has enabled CCNSW to combine UV protection principles with heat mitigation approaches. It has also assisted CCNSW to translate evidence into practice and support local government in their provision of shade in the public domain to contribute to their communities’ health.


This presentation will outline the collaborations CCNSW has undertaken to enhance the understanding of how heat mitigation strategies can be combined with UV protection, and to promote shade provision as an integral aspect of NSW planning policy. In particular, existing heat mitigation research has enabled concurrent research into the benefits of shade for UV protection. The combination of these research topics has provided vital additional opportunities to enable health co-benefits to be realised, and for good planning policy to be implemented.


This unique multidisciplinary collaboration is designed to demonstrate the value that can be realised when the health and planning sector work together. Jan and Elizabeth will share their planning and health perspectives to highlight these key insights.


Elizabeth King

Cancer Council NSW

Elizabeth is the Manager of the Skin Cancer Prevention Unit at Cancer Council NSW and works to change social environments and individual behaviours that promote good sun protection and reduce the risk of skin cancer through strategic program, policy and advocacy initiatives. With an honours degree in psychology and a Masters of Public Health, Liz has over twenty years’ experience working across a variety of public health, cancer prevention and service delivery areas, including: national and state-based breast and bowel cancer screening programs; strategic research and program implementation guiding national lung cancer service delivery; adolescent and young adult cancer support programs and services; and the design and evaluation of community based overweight, obesity and diabetes prevention initiatives. Liz is passionate about working with organisations and other agencies to help integrate UV protection policies and practices into common practice. Liz has been the chair of the NSW Shade Working Group since 2016, where cross-collaboration with the planning sector has become an exciting new area of development.

Jan Fallding RPIA (Fellow)

Strategic & social impact planner

Based in the Hunter Valley of NSW, Jan consults to councils & state government agencies, primarily in regional NSW. Her planning interests are a diverse mix: healthy built environments; using demographic analysis to carefully frame planning policies; floodplain management and strategic planning & social impact in regional areas. A member of the NSW Shade Working Group, she enjoys collaborating with public health professions to create more comfortable, healthier environments for all. You might also like to follow her light-hearted look at demographics: Facebook – The People of NSW.