Adapting to Climate Change

Heat Mapping

As our climate warms, heatwaves are getting hotter, longer and more frequent. 

Council’s Resilient South project is monitoring one of the key effects of climate change in the south an increase in the frequency and intensity of heatwaves through mapping. 

As part of our Cool Places foundation project we have developed thermal infrared imagery to measure the land surface temperature and map vegetation. 

By identifying hot-spots and vegetation we can make decisions relating to tree plantings, urban planning and the health and wellbeing of our community, particularly vulnerable areas. 

Take the time to discover how hot your local area is by visiting our heating mapping tool below.

Leading our Community in Climate Change

Council’s Resilient South Project has taken a step forward in ensuring Southern Adelaide is climate ready. 

In February the Cities of Mitcham, Onkaparinga, Marion and Holdfast Bay, the Government of South Australia and the Adelaide & Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board signed a Resilient South Sector Agreement for Climate Change Adaptation for the Southern Adelaide Region 2018-2020. 

The Sector Agreement acknowledges the importance of taking a leadership role in climate change and sustainability and commits the City of Mitcham to work with the State Government and the Cities of Marion, Onkaparinga and Holdfast Bay to tackle climate change impacts and work towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

To discover more information about the Resilient South project visit 

Resilient South Sector Agreement Signing

(RL) Mayor Glenn Spear with Janet Byram Deputy Mayor, City of Marion, Amanda Wilson, Deputy Mayor, City of Holdfast Bay, Lorraine Rosenberg, Mayor, City of Onkaparinga and Sandy Pitcher Chief Executive, DEWNR at the signing of the Resilient South Sector Agreement.

An initiative of the cities of Holdfast Bay, Marion, Mitcham and Onkaparinga, the Resilient South project is about what we can do in the Southern Region to make sure our businesses, communities, and environments can tackle the challenges of climate change.

Changes in our climate, such as higher temperatures, declining rainfall, and rising sea levels require active management of risks. The Resilient South project will also seek to harness opportunities presented by these changes, so that the region continues to thrive and prosper.

The Resilient South project is supported by the South Australian and Australian Governments. The project will produce a Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the whole region, with input from government, business and community organisations.

Go to the Resilient South website for:

  • Project newsletters and updates.
  • Information about workshops involving representatives of government, business and community organisations that will help identify what more can be done to strengthen the region for changes in our climate.
  • Maps showing a range of social, environmental and economic data about the region that help us understand the risks and opportunities for the southern region presented by a changing climate.

For further information or queries about the Resilient South Project, please contact the Resilient South Project Coordinator on 8384 0532 or the City of Mitcham on 8372 8888.

City of Mitcham Resilient South Local Action Plan 2015-2019

The City of Mitcham Resilent South Local Action Plan 2015 -2019(424 kb) demonstrates a commitment by Council to the Resilient South program and its objectives including to: 

  • improve hazard management and minimisation of risk associated with climate change
  • improve emergency response capabilities relevant to climate change impacts, and
  • increase the Council’s understanding of climate change risks, vulnerability and adaptation responses. 

Over the next four years (2016 to 2019) we will commit to implementing the Resilient South Southern Region Local Government Implementation Plan (the Regional Implementation Plan) through our own Local Action Plan. The Regional Implementation Plan features four foundation projects: 

  • Resilient South Equip - focuses on actions that integrate adaptation into Council’s strategic plans, community plans, local asset plans and regional public health planning
  • Resilient South Aware - focuses on increasing our awareness of climate impacts, risks, opportunities and vulnerabilities and tailors these messages so that they connect with the values of our target audiences
  • Resilient South Cool Places - focuses on projects in our open space and public realm where Councils have most influence including our parks, streetscapes, natural landscapes and sporting hubs
  • Resilient South Source to Sea - Aims to enable the region to respond to climate change impacts identified for the coast and our precious water resources.  These include reduced overall rainfall, increasing evaporation, increased stormwater runoff, sea level rise and ocean acidification

Commendation for the Resilient South Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan

A Council initiative to prepare southern Adelaide for the impacts of climate change was commended at the Planning Institute of Australia 2015 Awards on Friday night.

The Cities of Holdfast Bay, Marion, Mitcham and Onkaparinga are working together regionally to implement the Resilient South Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan.

The Planning Institute of Australia awarded the Adaptation Plan a Commendation in the 'Best Planning Ideas - Large' category saying that "it (the Adaptation Plan) is the most comprehensive and well executed of its kind in South Australia." The Planning Institute of Australia went on to commend the program's engagement processes and to say that "the project stands out for its understanding that the values, decisions and behaviours of individuals is critical to achieving meaningful climate change action."

The commendation was awarded to the four Councils, URPS, Seed Consulting Services, Jacobs, Ecocreative, Econsearch, Australian Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre, Concepts of Change which all contributed to the plan's development.

L-R: Natalie Stalenberg Resilient South Program Coordinator, Maggie Hine (City of Onkaparinga), Holdfast Bay Mayor Stephen Patterson, Nicole Halsey (URPS), Anna Pannell (URPS), Fiona Harvey (City of Marion), Dr Mark Siebentritt (Seed Consulting Services).

New Partners for a Resilient South

Resilient South, an initiative of the Cities of Onkaparinga, Holdfast Bay, Marion and Mitcham, has recently been successful in securing South Australian government funding to conduct urban heat island mapping in the south.

Increasing temperatures and more frequent and intense heat-waves are known to have significant effects on our physical and mental health and can lead to higher morbidity rates. The most vulnerable are older people, young children, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, low-socioeconomic groups and people that need assistance with everyday activities. 

The mapping will help us to understand which communities are the hottest and what benefits existing street trees, reserves and parks provide in mitigating that heat. 

It is hoped that this information can be used when we make decisions about future vegetation needs, irrigation, stormwater management and water sensitive urban design. 

For more information call Natalie Stalenberg on 8384 0532 or email 

Resilient South Wins National Award for Action on Climate Change

The Cities of Mitcham, Onkaparinga, Holdfast Bay and Marion have been recognised by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility for action on climate change for the Resilient South Project.

The Resilient South Project, a collaboration between the four councils, won the Local Government Champions Award. This award recognises that Resilient South sets the benchmark for local government response to climate change.

The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility recognised the Resilient South initiative as an Adaptation Champion in 2014 for demonstrating there is strength in numbers, and that action to address climate change can deliver more resilient and sustainable Australian communities.

The recently released Resilient South Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan was prepared with direct involvement from government, business and community organisations.

The plan focuses on the impact of climate change in relation to the region’s economy and infrastructure, environment and natural resources, and social and community values. It provides 57 preferred adaptation options and a timeline for how southern Adelaide can respond to and actively manage the challenges of climate change, including more frequent and intense heatwaves and bushfires, declining rainfall, and rising sea levels.

The plan includes a range of actions to improve awareness about the effects of climate change on business and vulnerable people, build greater social connectivity, increase the number of trained emergency services volunteers, and encourage changes in how public and open spaces are managed.

The project is consistent with the National and South Australian Climate Change Adaptation Frameworks and has received funding from the National Disaster Resilience Scheme, the South Australian Government and the four partner councils.

Resilient South Award

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Tel 08 8372 8888

Fax 08 8372 8101

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PO Box 21

Mitcham Shopping Centre

Torrens Park SA 5062

131 Belair Road

Torrens Park SA 5062

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