Urban Climate Lab logo

Heat Adaptation Planning.

Dallas Urban Heat Management Study

Figure 1. Deaths avoided by neighborhood from tree planting and cool materials strategies

The Dallas Urban Heat Management Study, commissioned by the Texas Trees Foundation, is among the first comprehensive heat management assessments focused on a major city and constitutes one component of a broader effort to enhance environmental quality, improve health and livability, and reduce heat mortality in Dallas. This study assesses the extent to which the Dallas area is warming due to urban development and deforestation, estimates the extent to which rising temperatures are impacting public health, and provides a scientific foundation for the development of urban heat management plans and programs.

Study Highlights

  • Tree planting and preservation in Dallas can change the weather – producing cooler days and nights than will occur if tree canopy continues to be lost.
  • The benefits of greening strategies can be as high as 15F of cooling in some areas on hot summer days.
  • Tree planting and preservation can save lives when implemented in concert with more reflective roofing and paving materials, with these combined strategies found to reduce the number of deaths from hot weather by more than 20%.
  • Tree planting and preservation was found to be more than 3.5 times as effective in lowering temperatures as cool materials strategies.
  • Dallas can achieve significant cooling and health benefits by planting 250,000 trees.

People

Dr. Brian Stone, Dr. Ted Russell, Kevin Lanza, Evan Mallen, Dr. Marcus Trail, Jason Vargo

Media:

Click here to read the article.

Louisville Urban Heat Management Study

Commissioned by the Louisville Metro Office of Sustainability, this study is the first comprehensive heat management assessment undertaken by a major US city and constitutes one component of a broader effort to enhance livability, health, and sustainability in the Louisville Metro region. Through this report, we assess the extent to which Louisville Metro is warming due to urban development and deforestation, estimate the extent to which rising temperatures are impacting public health, and present a series of neighborhood-based recommendations for moderating this pace of warming.

Study Highlights

  • Cool materials strategies should be prioritized in industrial and commercial zones exhibiting extensive impervious cover with limited opportunities for cost-effective vegetation enhancement.
  • Tree planting and other vegetative strategies should be prioritized in residential zones, where population exposures to heat are greatest and lower-cost planting opportunities are found.
  • Energy efficiency programs consistent with the Louisville Climate Action Report and Sustain Louisville should be expanded and integrated with urban heat management planning.
  • Some combination of heat management strategies should be undertaken in every zone targeted for heat adaptation planning.
  • A combination of new regulatory and economic incentive programs will be needed to bring about the land cover changes and energy efficiency outcomes modeled through this study.

Figure 1. Enhanced cooling benefits resulting from combined strategies. Scenario in each panel as follows: cool materials (top left); tree planting (top right); reduction in waste heat (bottom left); all strategies combined (bottom right).

People Dr. Brian Stone, Dr. Ted Russell, Kevin Lanza, Evan Mallen, Dr. Jason Vargo, Dr. Peng Liu

Media
Click here to read the article.