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The charity making life better by water

Urban cooling

Using our waterways to cool urban areas.

Kings Cross basin

The University of Manchester has undertaken research for us into the effect of urban cooling from the Rochdale Canal on Manchester City Centre.

It concludes that there is a notable cooling effect from the canal. Similar benefits are likely to apply in other urban centres with canals. We would be happy to discuss with plan makers whether there are opportunities to test this as part of developing an evidence base for policies that recognise the role of waterways in urban cooling.


Birmingham Development Plan (adopted 2017) Policy TP2 relates to adapting to climate change. It states: “The City will need to adapt to the impacts of extreme weather and climate change. Measures to help manage the impacts will include: Where applicable, maintain and enhance the blue network to reflect the benefits that canals and rivers bring to urban cooling”.

Last Edited: 05 February 2021

photo of a location on the canals
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