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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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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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The Heat is On: U.S. Temperature Trends

June 2012

This report from Climate Central presents a state-by-state analysis of warming over the past 100 years and shows where it warmed the most and where it warmed the least. The report is timely, as the first five months of 2012 were the warmest on record in the U.S, and the 12 month period ending May 2012 was the warmest 12 month period on record in the country. 

Related Organizations: Climate Central

Authors or Affiliated Users: Claudia Tebaldi, Dennis Adams-Smith, Nicole Heller

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Socioeconomic indicators of heat-related health risk supplemented with remotely sensed data

October 16, 2009

This study evaluates a potential method for determining localized risk from extreme heat events (EHEs) in urban environments by integrating socio-demographic risk factors with estimates of land surface temperature.  Methods that provide more spatially specific information may better inform planning and intervention in areas where increased prevalence of heat-related illness and EHEs are likely to occur.

Related Organizations: International Journal of Health Geographics

Authors or Affiliated Users: Daniel P. Johnson, Jeffrey S. Wilson, George C. Luber

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Adapting to Climate Change: Public Health

June 2009

This issue brief shares results from a climate adaptation research project conducted by Resources for the Future (RFF). The report describes the projected health consequences of climate change impacts, and offers strategies to mitigate some of these adverse effects on public health. 

Related Organizations: Resources for the Future (RFF)

Author or Affiliated User: Jonathan M. Samet

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Urban Heat Island Mitigation Can Improve New York City’s Environment: Research on the Impacts of Mitigation Strategies

October 2008

Green “living” roofs and “cool” highly reflective roofs are building technologies that may offer solutions to mitigate the problems of the urban heat island effect.   Focusing on why these particular techniques may be incorporated into strategies for urban heat island mitigation, this paper reviews research assessing their environmental impacts, and discusses the effects of these "smart" rooftops on ambient air temperatures, energy use, and air quality.

Related Organizations: Sustainable South Bronx

Authors or Affiliated Users: Joyce Klein Rosenthal, Rob Crauderuff, Majora Carter

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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The Heat is On: Climate Change and Heatwaves in the Midwest

December 2007

This paper from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (formerly the Pew Center on Global Climate Change) reviews the projected intensity and frequency of heat waves in the Midwestern United States for the 21st century, potential public health ramifications and related adaptation options. It is one of four case studies in an overall report, "Regional Impacts of Climate Change: Four Case Studies in the United States," that examines the impacts of particular interest to different regions of the U.

Related Organizations: National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), The Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Kris Ebi, Gerald A. Meehl

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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The Urban Heat Island, Photochemical Smog, and Chicago: Local Features of the Problem and Solution

1999

This project identifies the effect that surface modifications have on the urban heat island phenomenon and related ozone problems in the metropolitan area of Chicago, Illinois.

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

Authors or Affiliated Users: Kimberly A. Gray, Mary E. Finster

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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