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Articles on urban heat island

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Rising global temperatures are increasing heat risks for outdoor workers and the urban poor. Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images

Dangerous urban heat exposure has tripled since the 1980s, with the poor most at risk

Hot, humid population centers are becoming epicenters of heat risk as climate changes worsens. It’s calling into question the conventional wisdom that urbanization uniformly reduces poverty.
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Cities could get more than 4°C hotter by 2100. To keep cool in Australia, we urgently need a national planning policy

Cities occupy just 3% of the Earth’s surface, yet more than half the world’s population live in urban environments. We need nation-wide plans to keep our cities cool so no one gets left behind.
Traffic flows past trees that have been felled to make way for a highway in Nairobi, Kenya on November 12, 2020. Photo by LUIS TATO/AFP via Getty Images

The loss of vegetation is creating a dangerous heat island over Nairobi

Parts of Nairobi are already dealing with temperature increases and reduction in humidity. These conditions are associated with increases in mortality, especially in children and the elderly.
Green roofs, like this one in Sao Paulo, Brazil, have many benefits. Leonardo Ikeda/Shutterstock

How buildings in Johannesburg could benefit from green roofs

South Africa needs to develop low-cost housing solutions that are inherently comfortable and environmentally sustainable. Green roofs could be part of these solutions.
There are ways we can stay cool in a heat wave without blasting air con at peak times. AAP Image/TRACEY NEARMY

Trust Me I’m An Expert: Why February is the real danger month for power blackouts

The urban heat island and summertime blackouts. The Conversation25.6 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

Heat waves threaten city dwellers, especially minorities and the poor

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

Cities rally around the Paris deal, a reminder that global problems can have local solutions

International problems and local policies are integrally interwoven, whether the nationalists in Washington like it or not.
Upper Coomera is one of those fast-growing fringe suburbs that are hotter because of tightly packed housing with less greenery. Daryl Jones/www.ozaerial.com.au/

Out in the heat: why poorer suburbs are more at risk in warming cities

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.
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.

Building cool cities for a hot future

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.
The cover that trees provide transforms cities into much more hospitable places, especially in hot weather. AAP/Joe Castro

In a heatwave, the leafy suburbs are even more advantaged

Six years after Black Saturday, it’s worth remembering that heatwaves kill more people than bushfires do, so shade can be a life-saver. But tree cover and shade are not evenly distributed in cities.

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