Urban Heat islandsRoad surfaces, pavements, and buildings all contribute to keeping urban environments three to four degrees hotter than surrounding areas. People are taking the urban heat island effect very seriously.The urban heat island effect occurs because the dense dark on roads and building materials used in cities accumulate and store heat during the day and then release it at night.

All of the cars in busy cities contribute to heat islands. When people are exposed to extreme heat, they can suffer from potentially deadly illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Older adults, young children, low-income populations, people who work outdoors, and people in poor health are the most vulnerable to these impacts. Many people die from extreme heat.One of the simplest solutions to reducing the urban heat island effect is to provide more shade, with trees.

In 2012 Melbourne city council launched a project to double the amount of trees from 22% to 40% by 2040, by planting about 3,000 new trees every year.Another approach that can cut down on heat absorption is to consider different surface materials for roads and pavements. Lighter-coloured pavement such as the color green will reduce temperatures by reducing heat absorption.One alternative is green roads with a more porous surface that allows water to seep in and even grass to grow through, which in turn cuts down the amount of heat absorbed by the road surface. A similar principle to green roads applies to green roofs and green walls, where the building is partly or fully covered by vegetation.

This approach indirectly reduces urban heat by cooling the building itself and reducing its air-conditioning requirements, which in turn reduces the amount of waste heat released into the environment. But green roofs can also have unwanted side effects.But, some recent work found that if you put green roofs on the rooftops you reduce the temperature but you can actually increase the humidity a little bitTree planting has its limitations: trees can’t be planted in the middle of roads, they can’t necessarily be planted on private property, and there are also potential issues with having too many trees. Some US cities that went overboard on tree planting had a negative result of women felt less safe walking around the streets. Lighter-colored pavement can be a problem in very sunny areas.

“On a bright day, the last thing you want is to be driving on the road with the sun coming down and bouncing off the pavement.


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