With 5G, cities and suburbs will feel the heat
Quoting from the Sydney City Council’s submission to the recent Australian 5G inquiry:
“We know, for example that the 5G millimeter wave radio spectrum is adversely affected by trees and other physical assets and this adds a critical reason to collaboratively decide on cell heights and locations,. We will not be willing to sacrifice trees in favour of network performance. Similarly, we need to consider the aesthetic and physical impacts of a potentially large volume of physical infrastructure which is located based on network performance only. We must find sustainable ways to achieve the use of technology and we can do this only if we are an active part of the decision-making process within our city.”
NOTE: Go to submission 310 as there are 27 pages of submissions listed at the above link
The problem of trees has not escaped Telstra”™s notice. To quote:
“Telstra is also funding research into whether uniquely Australian obstacles – including flora – will disrupt 5G signals, which occupy a higher frequency and don’t travel as far as other mobile signals. “Something that seems to be unique to Australia, and we found with earlier standards, is how gumtrees impact those radio signals and the way they get from the radio tower to the end user, Mr Wright said.”
So, in a future 5G city/suburban world requiring thousands of additional small cell antennas along every street utilising millimeter transmissions, trees may be in the way of achieving those blazing internet speeds. Tree-lined streets, especially on wet days will be an impediment to 5G progress. What will be sacrificed?
Even without 5G, trees in the suburbs are having a hard time according to the ABC News:
Tree loss is making for sweaty suburbs, and the households that can least afford it are feeling the heat
Money might not grow on trees, but it’ll probably buy you a place with more of them. And more trees in your street can make a big difference, not only keeping things less hot and sticky at home, but also saving you money. The problem is that in many suburbs trees are disappearing “” and the resulting “thermal inequity” affects the people who can least afford it. Urban and environmental planner Tony Matthews says between 2008 and 2017, Australia’s major metropolitan areas cumulatively lost 2.6 per cent of their vegetation “” which adds up to an area larger than Brisbane. Fewer trees “” combined with more hard surfaces like roads, pavements, and rooftops “” can create an urban “heat island” effect.
“Cities become artificially hotter “¦ and that can be variable across the city and much more severely felt in some parts than others,” Dr Matthews, who lectures at Griffith University, tells ABC RN’s Life Matters. He says the people really feeling the heat are those on the urban fringe, which is often they only place they can afford to live. Many of those people don’t have the option of simply turning up the air conditioning. “Many of these people are renters, so they can really not afford this. And more than that, they can’t actually do anything about their situation,” Dr Matthews says. “They’re not in a situation where they could, for example, put solar panels on the roof to offset the cost of air conditioning.”
Trapped in a heat island
Dr Matthews says greenery has a strong correlation with property prices too “” living close to a park can inflate value by 5 to 20 per cent. Western Sydney University’s Abby Mellick Lopes has studied how communities in that area are affected by heat. Dr Mellick Lopes says for some people, “the only response they could have to an extremely hot day is to remain as still as possible”. “[That] is obviously not good for health and wellbeing outcomes or for their capacity to connect with other people,” she says.
Dr Mellick Lopes, an expert in design, says rapid development and population growth in Western Sydney has seen trees lost from suburbs, including many lower socio-economic areas. “You’ve got a large number of people in rental properties which usually have less insulation, and also people are less inclined to feel that they can actually intervene and change those properties to add shade by actually growing trees,” she says. “So people in those situations tend to be a little trapped because they don’t have those cool spaces where they can actually get from A to B comfortably. “Often bus stops are not covered as well.” Landscape architect Libby Gallagher says trees, especially those that can provide direct shade to buildings, can act as “natural air conditioning units for many neighbourhoods”.
It can make a huge difference.
“Some of the research indicates up to three degrees, in some circumstances that can be as high as six to seven degrees centigrade,” she says. “That actually has a big effect on health, as well as obviously electricity bills and consumption.”…SNIP
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