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Heat and Social Inequity in the United States

August 2015

This interactive website provides a series of maps depicting the vulnerability of each county in the U.S. to heat as a result of climate change. Drawing on global climate models and socioeconomic metrics, these maps allow for county-level analysis of heat risk and can be used to bolster community engagement and preparedness planning. 

Related Organizations: Four Twenty Seven

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Washington DC: Targeting Urban Heat Islands

August 2015

This case study discusses how Washington DC is preparing for the impacts of climate change including sea-level rise, increasing flood risks, and heat waves. The case study explores how District agencies integrated considerations of climate change when developing the city's Sustainable DC plan, which was developed through an interagency working group.  This effort spurred the development of a city-wide vulnerability assessment and adaptation plan.  The case study also explores the District’s efforts to reduce urban heat islands by making grants to pilot the use of cool roofs, implementing the Smart Roof Initiative to retrofit District-owned buildings, and adopting of a new Green Building Code.

Related Organizations: Georgetown Climate Center

Author or Affiliated User: Sara Hoverter

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Heat in the Heartland: Climate Change and Economic Risk in the U.S.

January 23, 2015

From the Risky Business Project, “Heat in the Heartland” details how extreme heat from unmitigated climate change could transform the Midwest's communities and economy. This assessment defines the range of potential economic consequences on agriculture and businesses, as well as discusses the related impacts on labor productivity, livestock, energy use, public health, crime, fresh water supply and tourism. The report concludes that the most severe risks can still be avoided through early investments in resilience and immediate action to mitigate global warming.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Cool Policies for Cool Cities: Best Practices for Mitigating Urban Heat Islands in North American Cities

June 17, 2014

This survey by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Global Cool Cities Alliance (GCCA) reviews the urban heat mitigation activities of 26 cities in the U.S. and Canada - representing all of the major climate zones, geographies, and city sizes across North America. They found that heat waves along with other natural disasters and extreme weather has motivated nearly two thirds of the cities surveyed to initiate urban heat island mitigation strategies.

Related Organizations: American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) , Global Cool Cities Alliance

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Cool Pavement Roads in Sydney, Australia

June 2014

The City of Sydney Australia is exploring the use of “cool pavements” (i. e. , lighter colored pavement) on roads to reduce the urban heat island effect in the city.  The City is evaluating the effectiveness of cool pavements through a demonstration project in which they propose to repave 600 sq. meters of a street in Chippendale, a suburb of Sydney, with lighter colored pavements. Cool pavements are one method of reducing higher temperatures in urban environments because lighter colored pavements absorb less heat energy.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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2014 Heatwave Business Impacts, City of Melbourne, Australia

March 24, 2014

The City of Melbourne, Australia conducted this study to get an understanding of the perceived impacts of a 2014 heatwave on the Melbourne business community. Melbourne has experienced several extreme heatwaves in recent years and climate projections show an increase in heatwaves in the future. This is a unique study because most research has been related to impacts of urban heat on the personal health of individuals, rather than impacts to businesses. 

Related Organizations: City of Melbourne, Australia

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Assessing the Health Impacts of Urban Heat Island Reduction Strategies in the Cities of Baltimore, Los Angeles, and New York

2014

The research summarized in this report quantifies the impact that typical urban heat island mitigation strategies - such as reflective roofs, cool pavements, and vegetation - have on ambient conditions and mortality during extreme heat events. The study estimated reductions in heat-related mortality in three cities: Baltimore, Maryland; Los Angeles, California; and New York, New York. The findings of this paper can help urban planners and city officials looking to further quantify the health and life-saving benefits of reducing summer urban heat islands (UHI) with cool surfaces and increased vegetation strategies.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Jennifer Vanos, Laurence Kalkstein, David Sailor, Kurt Shickman, Scott Sheridan

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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EPA Reducing Urban Heat Islands: Compendium of Strategies

2008, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency compendium describes the causes and impacts of urban heat islands, and details green infrastructure strategies and other activities for reducing heat islands. Six reports present the multiple benefits that a community can achieve from implementing heat island reduction strategies. Voluntary and policy efforts undertaken by state and local governments to mitigate urban heat islands are also described.

Related Organizations: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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NYC Cool Roofs Initiative (New York City, NY)

2014

The NYC °CoolRoofs initiative encourages building owners in New York City to cool their rooftops by applying a reflective white coating that reduces energy use, cooling costs and carbon emissions. The program not only combats the urban heat island effect, it supports New York City's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030, as outlined in PlaNYC - the City's comprehensive sustainability plan. 

Related Organizations: City of New York, New York

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Federal Funding Compendium for Urban Heat Adaptation

December 2013

From the Georgetown Climate Center, this compendium collects and analyzes federal programs with potential to pay for state and local government adaptation to urban heat islands.  This report analyzes federal funding programs providing funding for economic development, energy, environmental protection, public health and transportation to determine whether these purposes can be used to implement measures to reduce the the urban heat island effect in cities.  For each program, the report includes information on who can apply for the funds, what activities the funds can be used to fund, amount of money in the program and average size of grant, as well as potential for use in adaptation.

Related Organizations: Georgetown Climate Center

Author or Affiliated User: Sara Hoverter

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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