Portland State study demonstrates how plants, trees and reflective materials can reduce extreme heat in city neighborhoods.
Planting more vegetation, using reflective materials on hard surfaces and installing green roofs on buildings can help cool potentially deadly urban heat islands -- a phenomenon that exists in nearly all large cities -- a new study from Portland State University shows.
Those solutions, however, present a growing challenge to developers and planners as neighborhoods become increasingly dense and single-family homes give way to apartment buildings.
The modeling showed that the biggest differences came from using reflective materials and planting trees.
He noted, however, that green roofs provide other environmental benefits such as retaining storm water, controlling pollution and providing a habitat for wildlife.
The phenomenon of higher temperatures in areas with a lot of buildings and pavement is known as the urban heat island effect.
While testing solutions that reduce urban heat, the study also showed the effects of doing the opposite. »