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How Cities are Innovating to Combat Rising Temperatures | CNN Report Review

Explore effective solutions to tackle urban heat island effect and combat rising temperatures in cities. #CCN-Report-review

As summer temperatures continue to rise due to the combined impact of human-induced climate change and El Niño, cities across the globe are facing unprecedented challenges in keeping their residents safe and comfortable. With July 2023 declared as the hottest month on record, the urgency to combat the impacts of the "era of global boiling," as described by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, has never been greater.
From innovative tree planting strategies to advanced cooling technologies, cities are stepping up their efforts to tackle the urban heat island effect and create more livable environments for their populations.
How Cities are Innovating to Combat Rising Temperatures | CNN Report Review

The Urban Heat Island Effect: A Double Whammy of Climate and Infrastructure

The urban heat island effect, a phenomenon where cities experience higher temperatures than their rural surroundings, is exacerbated by the proliferation of heat-absorbing concrete structures and asphalt surfaces. This microclimate difference can reach up to 10 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit) in some densely populated areas. This phenomenon is intensified by the climate crisis, leading to potentially deadly heatwaves and heat-related illnesses.

1. The Power of Trees: Natural Coolants and Shade Providers

Cities are rediscovering the incredible cooling properties of trees in the battle against rising temperatures. Trees not only provide shade but also utilize a process called "evapotranspiration" to release water vapor into the atmosphere, effectively cooling the surrounding area. Barcelona, for instance, has embarked on an ambitious "Tree Master Plan," aiming to cover 30% of its land with climate-resilient tree species by 2037. Other cities are also planting trees in strategic locations to create green oases of cooler air.
1. The Power of Trees: Natural Coolants and Shade Providers

2. Cooling Sprays and Mist Cannons: Creative Cooling Technologies

Innovative cooling technologies are emerging to provide respite from extreme heat. Chinese cities like Wuhan and Chongqing have introduced cooling sprays and "mist cannons," mobile trucks equipped with high-pressure water sprayers, to lower temperatures in public spaces. A study from Seoul National University suggests that these cooling sprays can lower ambient temperatures by up to 7%. Austria's Vienna has also designated "cool streets" with mist showers, smart sprinklers, and other cooling features.

3. Canopies and "Ultra-White" Paint: Shielding Against Sun's Heat

Canopies, a simple and cost-effective weather shield, are making a comeback to protect against relentless heat. Seville has expanded its network of canvas awnings to shield transit stations, schools, and playgrounds. In Tel Aviv, "smart" canopies embedded with solar cells store energy during the day to power LED lights at night. "Ultra-white" paint, developed by Purdue University, reflects up to 98% of sunlight, reducing surface temperatures by nearly 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Los Angeles and other cities are testing reflective coatings on roads and structures to combat heat absorption.

4. Vernacular Architecture: Embracing Traditional Wisdom

Architects and urbanists are reimagining traditional construction techniques to combat rising temperatures. Pioneers like Pritzker Prize-winning architect Francis Kéré are using locally sourced materials like clay, stones, and eucalyptus branches to create comfortable spaces without relying on air conditioning. The Auroville Earth Institute in India champions "vernacular" architecture, promoting the use of low-carbon structures made from compressed mud and soil.

5. Building with Abundance: Sustainable Architecture

Architect Anupama Kundoo emphasizes the importance of building with materials abundant in a region. She advocates for recognizing the deep relationship between construction materials and local geography. Kundoo's work in Auroville and other places showcases climate-resilient structures made from materials found on-site, reducing the environmental impact and promoting sustainability.

Building with Abundance: Sustainable Architecture

Conclusion: Collaborative Efforts for a Cooler Future

As the world faces the realities of a hotter future, cities are taking proactive measures to combat the urban heat island effect. From embracing trees and innovative cooling technologies to rethinking traditional architecture and building sustainably, these efforts show the power of collaboration between communities, governments, and innovators. By combining the wisdom of the past with the technology of the present, cities are taking critical steps to create cooler, more livable environments for their residents in the face of unprecedented heat challenges.

#GlobalWarming #Heatrelated-illness #CNNreportreview

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LearningKiDunya: How Cities are Innovating to Combat Rising Temperatures | CNN Report Review
How Cities are Innovating to Combat Rising Temperatures | CNN Report Review
Explore effective solutions to tackle urban heat island effect and combat rising temperatures in cities. #CCN-Report-review
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