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Adapting to Urban Heat: A Tool Kit for Local Governments

August 2012

This tool kit is designed to help local governments reduce the effects of increased heat on their communities and citizens. It provides an analytic tool for policy makers to consider a combination of four built-environment changes (cool roofs, green roofs, cool pavements, and urban forestry), providing clear criteria for selecting among these approaches. 

Related Organizations: Harrison Institute, Georgetown Climate Center

Author or Affiliated User: Sara Hoverter

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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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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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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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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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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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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California Extreme Heat Adaptation Final Guidance Document – Transportation Recommendations

October 2013

California’s Climate Action Team (CAT) developed the guidance document, Preparing California for Extreme Heat: Guidance and Recommendations, to provide California agencies with best practices for adapting to heat-related climate change impacts. Several of the recommendations focus on adaptations to the transportation sector and make recommendations for actions that can be taken by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to increase heat resilience. Transportation improvements, such as road pavement and the removal of vegetation, can contribute to higher temperatures in urban areas resulting in what are often referred to as urban heat islands.

Related Organizations: California Department of Public Health, California Climate Action Team (CAT)

Author or Affiliated User: Michael McCormick

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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Chicago’s Building Energy Programs

September 2013

The City of Chicago adapted energy efficiency policies for both commercial and residential buildings to support both its mitigation and adaptation goals. Waste heat from energy consumption has been estimated to account for about one-third of the urban heat island effect, in some US cities, and energy efficiency policies can be an effective strategy and mitigating these effects. [ref title=""]Dr. Brian Stone, Louisville Urban Heat Management Study, Urban Climate Lab of the Georgia Institute of Technology (April 2016).

Related Organizations: City of Chicago, Illinois

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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