There are ways we can stay cool in a heat wave without blasting air con at peak times.
AAP Image/TRACEY NEARMY
The urban heat island and summertime blackouts.
The Conversation 25.6 MB (download)
Today, we're asking why some of the most disadvantaged parts of our cities cop the worst of a heatwave and how you -- yes, you! -- can do your bit to reduce the risk of a summer time blackout.
Children run through an open fire hydrant to cool off during the kickoff of the 2016 Summer Playstreets Program in the Harlem neighborhood of New York, July, 6, 2016.
AP Photo/Ezra Kaplan
Climate change is making heat waves more frequent and intense around the world. Cities are hotter than surrounding areas, so urban dwellers – especially minorities and the poor – are at greatest risk.
Climate crusaders: President Macron, right, with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg after a June 2 meeting at the Elysee Palace, following the US withdrawal from the Paris agreement.
Christophe Petit Tesson/Reuters
International problems and local policies are integrally interwoven, whether the nationalists in Washington like it or not.
Peak hour making you hot under the collar? It’s not just you.
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Do you ever feel that the weather is worse on the weekend? Well you might be right!
Upper Coomera is one of those fast-growing fringe suburbs that are hotter because of tightly packed housing with less greenery.
Recently published research has found that the concentration of poorer people in hotter places is a real problem for cities' capacity to cope with climate change.
Reflective roof and skylights on a Walmart store, Las Vegas, NV.
Green and cool (reflective) roofs are effective tools for cooling overheated cities. Research in Chicago shows that their impacts depend on local conditions, so planners should site them carefully.
Some materials and surfaces radiate much more heat (red areas) than others, as can be seen in this thermal image of Arncliffe Street in Wolli Creek, Sydney.
Hot spots occur at the scale of where people live – the building, the street, the block – which means urban design and building materials have profound implications for our health and well-being.
It looks great – but what about the wildlife?
Tree image from www.shutterstock.com.
Cities are aiming to increase their tree cover. But there will need to be more than trees to encourage wildlife to return.
A few more trees and a little less aircon and we’d all be in clover.
My Life Graphic
Cities may only occupy about 2% of the world’s habitable land, but they are big drivers of global climate change. Cities are usually hotter than rural areas, and get referred to in the jargon as “urban…