The Data-Driven Plan to Cool Down Dallas

Dallas's resiliency plan analyzed the best ways to combat heat in every neighborhood.
January 2, 2019, 2pm PST | Elana Eden
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Piotr Zawisza

Governing features Smart Growth for Dallas, a city resiliency initiative created in partnership with the Trust for Public Land, the Texas Tree Foundation, and other non-profits.

The plan's core recommendation is a well-founded one: increase tree canopy. Tree coverage is more than three times as effective in combating extreme heat as using "cool" building materials, TTF has found. But the plan also calls for building green infrastructure, expanding carbon-free transportation, and integrated water management strategies that handle rainfall, flooding, and drinking supply at once.

To determine where to deploy these interventions first, the city and its partners undertook a neighborhood-by-neighborhood analysis of a variety of factors—including income levels, temperatures, flood risk, prevalence of certain diseases, street safety, and vulnerable populations. Harvard researchers Stephen Goldsmith and Matt Leger elaborate on the extensive process in Governing.

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Published on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 in Governing Magazine
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