Heat Island Effect
Welcome to EPA's Urban Heat Island Newsroom. The Newsroom provides current news and links to news releases related to urban heat island impacts, mitigation strategies, and community initiatives. To help keep you up to date, you may also wish to sign up for EPA's Urban Heat Island Newsletter. Older stories can be found in the Newsroom Archive.
- Green Roofs Help Brighten Up Hospital Stays (January 8, 2013) – Hospitals are providing a permanent green space for the comfort and emotional well-being of patients, while also reducing the hospitals’ carbon footprints.
- Green Roof Provides Chance for Research (January 10, 2013) – Horticulture scientists at Mississippi State University are studying and recording the effects of the coastal climate on rooftop gardens in Gulfport.
- World’s Greenest Building, Bullitt Center, Opens on Earth Day in Seattle (January 16, 2013) –The Bullitt Center, a six-story, 50,000 square-foot building was constructed to exceed the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification and meet the strenuous Living Building Challenge standards. The builders claim it will be the “greenest” office building on the planet.
- Rivers Can Help Reduce the “Urban Heat Island Effect” (January 18, 2013) – A recent UK study of urban heat island mitigation strategies has demonstrated that even a small urban river can result in a cooling effect of 1°C during temperatures higher than 20°C. Furthermore, the cooling effects can be improved by careful urban design of the surrounding areas.
- Heat From Urban Centers Can Have Far-Ranging Effect: NCAR Study (January 27, 2013) – A recent study in which the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) was a participant found that heat generated through everyday activities in one urban setting can affect the jet stream and other atmospheric systems.
- Tree Plan for Saratoga Springs Taking Root (December 5, 2012) - Sustainable Saratoga’s Urban Forestry Project presented its initial findings to the city council as part of an effort to develop a citywide urban forest master plan.
- City of Cincinnati Now Offers Green Roof Loans (December 5, 2012) - The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati, and the Cincinnati Office of Environmental Quality have made $5 million available for loans to install green roofs.
- Museum's New Roof Designed to Help Community “Think Green” (December 8, 2012) - Mississippi State University students and faculty installed a green roof on a new pavilion at the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum to raise awareness of green solutions.
- Department of Natural Resources Announces Forestry Grant Recipients (December 9, 2012) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources awarded grants totaling $92,039 to 18 recipients to implement urban forestry projects.
- Aultman Hospital Greens up with a Green Roof (December 18, 2012) - Aultman Hospital has installed a green roof to promote sustainability and improve care for patients by providing views of natural landscapes.
- Princeton Team Reflects on ‘Cool Roof’ Hypothesis (December 18, 2012) - Early data show that the thickness of a cool roof may have as much of an influence on energy savings and thermal performance as surface reflectivity.
- Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, Jr. of Hoboken Co-sponsors Bill to Mandate Green Roofs on State Buildings (December 19, 2012) - New Jersey is considering a bill that would require installation of green or blue roofs on state buildings that are at least 15,000 square feet to reduce storm water runoff.
- State to Help Tukwila Restore Urban Forests (December 24, 2012) - The Washington State Department of Natural Resources is helping to restore the urban forests at Cottage Creek and Duwamish River in Tukwila.
- Living Roof Built on Top of Aquinas (November 1, 2012) - The Catholic University of America began to install a green roof on top of Aquinas Hall. A third of the roof is covered with living plants; solar panels are installed on the other two-thirds.
- Green Walls: Saving Urban Areas (November 1, 2012) - Green walls, or vertical gardens, are not only aesthetically pleasing but also help reduce the urban heat island effect, provide natural insulation to the buildings, and reduce stormwater runoff.
- Ann Arbor Municipal Center receives LEED Gold (November 2, 2012) - The Municipal Center incorporates various elements to achieve the LEED certification, including rain gardens, a green roof promenade, and porous pavement in the parking lot.
- Pavements Designed to Fight Climate Change Could Increase Energy Consumption in Surrounding Buildings (November 6, 2012) - Windows facing the reflective pavements could receive more sunlight, thereby increasing temperatures and energy consumption in the buildings.
- City Receives Georgia Urban Forestry Council’s Top Honor (November 7, 2012) - The City of Savannah won the Outstanding Community Grand Award for its project to revitalize the Chippewa Square last year, which included planting of new trees, shrubs, and groundcover.
- Allegheny County Redevelopment Funds Soldiers & Sailors “Green Roof,” other Projects (November 10, 2012) - Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum in Pittsburg, PA will receive $250,000 from a state tax on casinos to help pay for a "green roof" on its landmark building. The roof will reduce stormwater runoff and provide additional insulation to lower the building’s energy costs.
- Onset Announces Green Roof Monitoring System (November 14, 2012) - Onset, a supplier of data loggers and weather stations, announced its new HOBO Green Roof Monitoring system to measure the performance of green roofs.
- Boston to Get Very First Roof-Top Farm, Will Be Second Largest in the World (November 14, 2012) - Higher Ground Farm, a Boston-based outdoor urban agriculture company, will build a 55,000 square-foot farm on the roof of Boston Design Center in Spring 2013.
- DEC Announces nearly $1 million in Urban Forestry Grants (November 24, 2012) - The New York Department of Environmental Conservation awarded nearly $1 million of grants to communities and organizations across the state to implement urban forestry programs.
- Members of UD, Delaware Community Celebrate Green Roof Completion (October 2, 2012) - U.S. Senator Tom Carper and members of the Delaware community joined University of Delaware (UD) students and faculty to celebrate the completion of the university’s first green roof on a classroom building. The project received funding from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative program, the DuPont Clear into the Future program, and two UD programs.
- Cleaning the Urban Environment with "Sustainable Backyards" (October 2, 2012) - Chicago’s Sustainable Backyards program provides rebates that reimburse citizens for up to 50 percent of the cost of installing trees, native plants, compost bins, and/or rain barrels. The program helps residents join the city in cooling heat islands, reducing stormwater pollution, cleaning the air, and improving public health.
- Living Roofs Boost Solar Panel Performance (October 3, 2012) - In addition to heat island reduction, there are added benefits to green roofs. If solar panels are combined with green roofs, evaporative cooling induced by plants can lead to lower ambient air temperatures, which increases the output of solar cells.
- C40 Partners with Global Cool Cities Alliance to Tackle ‘Heat Island Effect’ in Cities (October 4, 2012) - C40 has partnered with the Global Cool Cities Alliance to advance policies and actions in cities that increase the solar reflectance of building roofs and pavements.
- Louisville Starts Efforts to Adapt to Harsher Climes (October 14, 2012) - Louisville, Kentucky’s city officials and business leaders are taking their first steps to prepare for harsher climate conditions. For example, while announcing his tree initiative, Mayor Greg Fischer cited the need to shrink Louisville’s urban heat island.
- Project Aims to Show How Cities' Heat Centers Affect Landscapes (October 17, 2012) - Professors at the University of Minnesota are conducting research to understand urban heat islands in the Twin Cities and in cities around the world.
- D.C. Tree Planting Underway (October 19, 2012) - The District of Columbia Department of Transportation's Urban Forestry Administration is planting 6,400 trees across D.C. as part of a $1.8 million dollar program. Benefits include stormwater reduction, improved air quality, and lower temperatures.