Urban Heat Island Effect

Close-up of yellow lemon growing on tree poking through chain link fence.

The Promise of Urban Food Forests

Planting food-producing trees can offer both shade and a source of healthy foods in concrete-dominated neighborhoods.

February 9, 2024 - Grist

Green trees reflected in high-rise skyscrapers.

Urban Design for Sustainability

The way we build cities can have significant impacts on public health and equity.

November 16, 2023 - Colorado Newsline

Underground parking garage full of parked cars.

An Untapped Energy Source: Underground Garages

A European study measured ambient air and groundwater temperatures in underground parking garages and found that the heat generated by these structures could potentially power thousands of households.

November 14, 2023 - Anthropocene Magazine

Road sign with EXTREME HEAT ALERT surrounded by orange traffic cones

How Extreme Heat Impacts Heart Health

A higher number of high heat days correlates with more cardiovascular deaths, according to new research.

November 6, 2023 - Wired

Mature trees shading an urban sidewalk.

The Drawback to ‘Cool Pavement’

New research suggests that cooling pavement treatments can actually make pedestrians standing on it feel hotter.

September 28, 2023 - Bloomberg CityLab

Blurred image of ciy skyline with orange filter indicating extreme heat

How to Scale Up Heat Mitigation

As heat waves intensify, cities are seeking out heat mitigation techniques that can be applied widely and benefit entire neighborhoods.

July 25, 2023 - Smart Cities Dive


Planting More Trees to Protect and Save Lives

A new study estimates that more than a third of premature deaths from excessive heat can be prevented by planting more trees in cities.

February 20, 2023 - World Economic Forum

Garden with bee houses labeled 'bee hotel' and scarecrow

How Pollinators Fight Warming Cities

Researchers are starting to understand how urban bee populations can support healthy green spaces and reduce the urban heat island effect.

October 11, 2022 - Wired

Schoolyard with leafy green trees surrounded by benches

Investing in Green Schoolyards

California's budget now includes an unprecedented investment of $150 million to create green schoolyards and schoolyard forests at K-12 schools across the state.

September 20, 2022 - Green Schoolyards America blog

Pioneer Square, Seattle

Cool Planning for a Hotter Future

Global warming increases the importance of designing buildings and communities that are comfortable, efficient, and safe in hot conditions.

August 31, 2022 - Todd Litman

View of buildings in Bangkok business district through extremely orange sunlight

What Is the Urban Heat Island Effect?

Man-made surfaces and urban density contribute to higher temperatures, intensifying heat waves and posing a growing danger to public health.

August 21, 2022 - Diana Ionescu

Green roof in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

How Rotterdam’s Green Rooftops Fight Urban Heat

An elevated park in Rotterdam shows how green roofs can cool cities and create public parks in tight quarters.

June 5, 2022 - Surface Magazine

Rittenhouse Square, a park in Philadelphia, framed by large buildings.

Parks as a Weapon Against Climate Change

The 2022 ParkScore finds that cities are increasingly employing green space as a tool for mitigating heat and extreme weather effects, but the distribution of parks remains inequitable.

May 16, 2022 - Trust for Public Land

Thermometer infront of blurred image of street during heat wave

Extreme Heat as a Public Health Crisis

Cities can take action to improve conditions during extreme heat events and prevent heat-related deaths, many of which occur in low-income communities.

April 27, 2022 - Wired

Toronto Sidewalk

Student-Designed Cool Sidewalk Could Reduce 'Urban Heat Island' Effect

Researchers at the University of New Mexico created a sidewalk design using materials that would reduce heat absorption and require fewer materials than traditional concrete sidewalks.

September 28, 2021 - University of New Mexico

Bus Stop and Bike Lane

As Heat Waves Become More Common, Bus Shelters Are Needed to Keep Transit Riders Onboard

As climate change brings prolonged, intense heat waves to cities once associated with rain and cold weather will have to attend to the lack of shelter provided to bus and transit riders.

August 30, 2021 - The Seattle Times

Skinny Skyscraper

Report: Skyscrapers a Driving Factor of the Urban Heat Island Effect

As cities build upwards in an effort to create more housing and increase walkability, research shows that tall buildings intensify heat and contribute to increased carbon emissions.

August 19, 2021 - Grist

Trees and People

The Problem with Tree Planting Programs

Ambitious campaigns to plant trees in urban areas often don't take into account the complexities of growing and maintaining effective urban forests.

August 5, 2021 - Bloomberg CityLab

Hoover Dam

How Extreme Heat Threatens the Electrical Grid

Higher demand for electricity and lower capacity for production due to more intense heat waves are straining the power grid and causing concern for future energy production.

August 5, 2021 - High Country News

Pioneer Square, Seattle

Tree Equity Score: The U.S. Needs 522 Million More Urban Trees

As climate change intensifies the urban heat island effect, poorer neighborhoods bear the brunt of tree canopy inequity.

July 28, 2021 - The Urbanist

Top Books

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Top Apps

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Top Schools

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Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.