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.
- New York City Offers $6 Million in Green Project Grants (March 4, 2014) – The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging community groups, non-profits, and property owners to apply for $6 million in new funding for green infrastructure projects.
- TD Bank and Arbor Day Foundation Announce 2014 TD Green Streets Grant Recipients (March 4, 2014) – Ten municipalities were each awarded $20,000 to support innovation in urban forestry.
- New Haven Urban Resources Initiative Receives $30,000 Grant to Promote Benefits of Trees (March 13, 2013) – The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has awarded $30,000 to New Haven’s Urban Forestry Initiative to improve outreach strategies and increase citizen involvement in urban forestry programs that enhance aesthetics and reduce cooling costs.
- Oklahoma Arbor Week Initiative Seeks to Plant Trees to Reduce Urban Pollution (March 20, 2014) – The City of Edmond, Oklahoma celebrated Oklahoma Arbor Week by planting trees throughout the city for enhanced aesthetics and air quality, erosion prevention, and energy savings.
- Austin Creates Urban Forest Master Plan (March 26, 2014) – The City of Austin, Texas adopted an Urban Forest Master Plan with guidelines that city departments should address, including protecting trees during development, creating tree canopy cover goals, and recycling green waste.
- Iowa Museum Installs Green Roof (March 25, 2014) – The Curatorial Center at the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa will install a green roof using a $50,000 grant from the Iowa West Foundation. The roof will be covered in prairie grasses, goldenrod, yellow cornflower, and other plants native to the area.
- Institute for Environmental & Spatial Analysis Researcher Publishes Results of Climate Study (February 5, 2014) – Researchers at the Lewis F. Rogers Institute for Environmental & Spatial Analysis at the University of North Georgia introduced a new framework and terminology for thinking about and studying urbanization and its effects on the climate system.
- Houston Urban Forestry Event Focuses on Benefits of Trees (February 11, 2014) – Northwest Harris County, Texas, gained more than 1,000 new trees during the Houston Area Urban Forestry Council's 2014 Tree Planting Competition. The contest is designed to help educate people on proper ways to plant trees and on the benefits of urban forestry for the community.
- Heat Island Reduction Strategies Could Curb Warming from Urban Growth, Study Finds (February 12, 2014) – Researchers examined six “megapolitan” regions in California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, the Midwest, and the Mid-Atlantic to predict how much they would warm under different urban growth and development scenarios. According to the study, urban areas can offset that warming through strategies such as slowing their expansion, painting roofs white to reflect heat, or planting rooftop vegetation to cool the air.
- Indiana Department of Natural Resources Announces Urban Forestry Funding (February 19, 2014) – The Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry has awarded $118,343 in federal funds to 12 cities, towns, and non-profits in Indiana for urban forestry projects, including tree inventory and analysis for management planning, new tree plantings, and education and awareness campaigns.
- Keeping Urban Trees Healthy During Drought (February 24, 2014) – Watering and caring for urban trees during drought is important. Shaded landscapes retain soil moisture and keep the city cool, and when it does rain, a mature tree can capture thousands of gallons of rainwater in its canopy and root zone, sinking that rain into the aquifer instead of allowing it to run off into storm drains.
- The Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center Wins 2014 AIA Honor Award for Architecture (January 10, 2014) – The revamped Brooklyn Botanic Garden unveiled an undulating green roof that will capture and reuse over 200,000 gallons of rainwater each year.
- San Diego State University Adds Green Roof to Aztec Student Union (January 11, 2014) – A new San Diego State University student center is being outfitted with plant species that are well-suited to San Diego’s climate, as well as three large 50,000 gallon tanks that will capture and reuse stormwater runoff.
- Starting a “Treevolution”: Attendees, Officials Discuss Making Louisville More Sustainable (January 18, 2014) – Attendees at the Sustainability Summit in Louisville, Kentucky, are ready to start a “Treevolution,” and plan to move forward with sustainability initiatives such as green infrastructure and urban heat island reduction.
- Green Roof Project of the Week (January 21, 2014) – Indiana’s flagship Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio station installed one of Indianapolis’s largest green roofs. The green roof at WFYI is 6,000 square feet.
- i-Tree 2014 Mobile Software Now Available (January 22, 2014) –The U.S. Forest Service is making it easier than ever for homeowners and urban planners to discover the economic and ecological value of their trees with release of the updated free mobile software tool, iTree 2014.
- New Heat Island Group Research Compares Economics of White, Green, and Black Flat Roofs in the United States (January 21, 2014) – Looking strictly at the economic costs and benefits of three different roof types—black, white and green—Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers have found in a new study that white roofs are the most cost-effective over a 50-year time span.
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Announces 46 Urban Forestry Grants Awarded (January 30, 2014) – The Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Grant Program has awarded $602,486 to 46 Wisconsin communities, nonprofit organizations, and counties for community urban forestry projects.
- Meet Modular Green Roofing (December 4, 2013) – Several companies are developing green roof modules designed for rapid installation on both remodeled and new buildings.
- New Report Shows How Green Infrastructure Investments Can Create Value for Commercial Property Owners and Tenants (December 17, 2013) – The Natural Resources Defense Council released a study finding that incorporating green infrastructure (e.g., green roofs, porous sidewalks, and rain gardens) on private property can provide a wide range of benefits to commercial property owners and their tenants.
- Los Angeles Becomes First Major U.S. City to Adopt Cool Roof Rule (December 19, 2013) – The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to require cool roofs for all new and refurbished homes, becoming the first major U.S. city to do so. Los Angeles will expand its incentives for cool roofs to ensure that the mandate will not increase costs to homeowners.
- Saratoga Springs Planting Trees as Part of Urban Forestry Project (December 22, 2013) – The goal of this tree planting program is not only to beautify the City of Saratoga Springs, New York, but to reap the many benefits of urban trees, including the reduction of the urban heat island effect.
- New York – Property Tax: City Green Roof Tax Abatement Provisions Amended, Extended (December 23, 2013) – New York City has amended its property tax abatement incentive for green roofs. The amendment expands the definition of a green roof, slightly increases the value of the tax abatement, and extends the application deadline by five years, to March 15, 2018.