Not-So-Hypothetical: A Heated Conversation

Who would have thought that 35,000 people would die during Europe's record-breaking 2003 heat wave?


Climate models point to increasing likelihood of extremes. Though itʼs been dangerously hot in Melbourne already, unprecedented heat waves may likely lie ahead. This hypothetical style event will explore how Melbourneʼs energy, water, transport and systems will respond as community services struggle to meet demand. Speakers will discuss the impacts on Melbourneʼs community and infrastructure, what we¹ve learnt, how you can cope and will how we can build Melbourneʼs resilience into the future.


When: Monday 31st March 2014 (6.00-7.30pm)
Where: BMW Edge in Federation Square
Moderator: TBD


City of Melbourne faces an unprecedented heat wave event. It is January 2020 and the Bureau of Meteorology has projected 10 consecutive days of temperatures exceeding 40 degrees in Melbourne. The Premier expresses her concern about the ability of many of Melbourne systems to cope with the heat and requested the public take the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of themselves and their family.

Melbournians are called on to check up on each other, especially elderly, young and sick people. Public buildings are cooled in preparation for refuge.

In hot pockets of the city, urban heat island effects are expected to raise temperatures by over 5 - 7degrees, with residual impacts lasting well into the night.

Melbourneʼs energy supply system, health system and community services are expected to struggle to meet demand during this period. Water consumption is expected to peak. Black outs are anticipated throughout the heat wave and hospitals and ambulance services are preparing themselves for unprecedented demand.

Key infrastructure not designed to cope with such extreme heat will be impacted. Melbourneʼs public transport systems will experience delays and cancellations. Rails may buckle and roads may melt. Large and small businesses prepare for power and transport outages and water shortages, with vulnerable supply chains and staff well-being at the heart of management concerns. More than ever, the well being of Melbourne rests in the hands of business and community members.


Join us:
An engaging panel of Melbourne business, research, community and civic leaders will explore their responses to unimaginable circumstances that we must now start to anticipate in order to build our personal and community resilience to such conditions.


  • How you, your family, neighbours and friends, and your business can prepare and cope.
  • How the responses of different players influence the overall impact on Melbourne, and how strategies to reduce Melbourneʼs urban heat island play into what unfolds.

Help Melbourne work towards becoming a more resilient city.
Talk about it with the people around you.
A culture of preparedness saves lives.

When:  31 March 2014 - 31 March 2014

Time:  6:00pm - 7:30pm

Where:  BMW Edge in Federation Square

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