Heat Island Effect
Welcome to EPA's Urban Heat Island Newsroom. The Newsroom provides current news and links to news releases related to urban heat island impacts, mitigation strategies, and community initiatives. To help keep you up to date, you may also wish to sign up for EPA's Urban Heat Island Newsletter. Older stories can be found in the Newsroom Archive.
- Arizona State University Releases Study on the Impact of Air Conditioners on Urban Heat Island Effect (May 15, 2014) – Arizona State University researchers have found that excess heat from air conditioners running during the night leads to higher outside temperatures, worsening the urban heat island effect and increasing cooling demands.
- Louisville Awards $115,700 Tree Canopy Assessment Contract (May 7, 2014) – Louisville city officials awarded a contract worth $115,700 to a firm to complete a tree canopy assessment by the end of the year. The city will use the assessment to set priorities for tree planting to address urban heat, stormwater management, and other concerns.
- American University Researcher Studies Impact of Green Roofs on Pollution (May 14, 2014) – An American University researcher is studying the ability of green roofs to prevent pollutants from entering the Anacostia and Potomac rivers.
- Butte, Montana Establishes $2 Million Tree Planting Program (May 24, 2014) – A $2 million tree planting project in Butte aims to establish species diversification, stabilize the soil, and prevent soil erosion on Butte Hill, the site of former copper mines.
- University of Maryland Sustainability Fund Awards $50,000 in Green Roof Grants (April 3, 2014) – The University of Maryland Sustainability Fund awarded $50,000 to the university’s facilities management department for projects that either include a green roof or a rainwater harvesting system.
- People Who Have Trees Are More Likely to Participate in a Tree-Planting Program, Study Finds (April 15, 2014) – A new study indicates that homeowners with street trees, and ones living in older homes, are more likely to participate in a tree-planting program.
- White Roofs are More Economic than Green Roofs, Study Finds (April 22, 2014) – A new report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that white roofs are three times more effective at countering climate change than green roofs.
- Menomonie, Wisconsin, Urban Forestry Board Announces Urban Forestry Program (April 9, 2014) – The Menomonie Urban Forestry Board announced the Trees for Everyone Everywhere (TREE) initiative, a cost-sharing program for tree planting in the city.
- New York Department of Environmental Conservation Awards $797,437 in Urban Forestry Grants (April 26, 2014) – The New York Department of Environmental Conservation awarded $797,437 in urban forestry grants to 34 cities, towns, villages, and non-profits.
- Survey Finds Green Roof Square Footage Increased 10 Percent from 2012 (April 24, 2014) – Green Roofs for Healthy Cities released its Annual Green Roof Industry Survey, which finds that the North American green roof industry grew by 10 percent in 2013 over 2012.
- Nashville Music City Center Completed with Green Roof (April 23, 2014) – The Nashville Music City Center achieved LEED Gold certification, in part for its 175,000 square foot green roof and 360,000 gallon rainwater harvesting and recycling system.
- New Orleans Sustainable Village Complete, Along with Green Roofing (April 21, 2014) – Global Green USA completed its Holy Cross Project in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, which contains green roofs and bioswales to reduce the urban heat island effect and improve permeability.
- New York City Offers $6 Million in Green Project Grants (March 4, 2014) – The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging community groups, non-profits, and property owners to apply for $6 million in new funding for green infrastructure projects.
- Seattle Department of Transportation Plants 500 Trees (March 31, 2014) – The Seattle Department of Transportation planted approximately 500 trees in West Seattle and Rainier Beach.
- TD Bank and Arbor Day Foundation Announce 2014 TD Green Streets Grant Recipients (March 4, 2014) – Ten municipalities were each awarded $20,000 to support innovation in urban forestry.
- New Haven Urban Resources Initiative Receives $30,000 Grant to Promote Benefits of Trees (March 13, 2013) – The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has awarded $30,000 to New Haven’s Urban Forestry Initiative to improve outreach strategies and increase citizen involvement in urban forestry programs that enhance aesthetics and reduce cooling costs.
- Oklahoma Arbor Week Initiative Seeks to Plant Trees to Reduce Urban Pollution (March 20, 2014) – The City of Edmond, Oklahoma celebrated Oklahoma Arbor Week by planting trees throughout the city for enhanced aesthetics and air quality, erosion prevention, and energy savings.
- Austin Creates Urban Forest Master Plan (March 26, 2014) – The City of Austin, Texas adopted an Urban Forest Master Plan with guidelines that city departments should address, including protecting trees during development, creating tree canopy cover goals, and recycling green waste.
- Iowa Museum Installs Green Roof (March 25, 2014) – The Curatorial Center at the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa will install a green roof using a $50,000 grant from the Iowa West Foundation. The roof will be covered in prairie grasses, goldenrod, yellow cornflower, and other plants native to the area.
- Institute for Environmental & Spatial Analysis Researcher Publishes Results of Climate Study (February 5, 2014) – Researchers at the Lewis F. Rogers Institute for Environmental & Spatial Analysis at the University of North Georgia introduced a new framework and terminology for thinking about and studying urbanization and its effects on the climate system.
- Houston Urban Forestry Event Focuses on Benefits of Trees (February 11, 2014) – Northwest Harris County, Texas, gained more than 1,000 new trees during the Houston Area Urban Forestry Council's 2014 Tree Planting Competition. The contest is designed to help educate people on proper ways to plant trees and on the benefits of urban forestry for the community.
- Heat Island Reduction Strategies Could Curb Warming from Urban Growth, Study Finds (February 12, 2014) – Researchers examined six “megapolitan” regions in California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, the Midwest, and the Mid-Atlantic to predict how much they would warm under different urban growth and development scenarios. According to the study, urban areas can offset that warming through strategies such as slowing their expansion, painting roofs white to reflect heat, or planting rooftop vegetation to cool the air.
- Indiana Department of Natural Resources Announces Urban Forestry Funding (February 19, 2014) – The Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry has awarded $118,343 in federal funds to 12 cities, towns, and non-profits in Indiana for urban forestry projects, including tree inventory and analysis for management planning, new tree plantings, and education and awareness campaigns.
- Keeping Urban Trees Healthy During Drought (February 24, 2014) – Watering and caring for urban trees during drought is important. Shaded landscapes retain soil moisture and keep the city cool, and when it does rain, a mature tree can capture thousands of gallons of rainwater in its canopy and root zone, sinking that rain into the aquifer instead of allowing it to run off into storm drains.
- The Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center Wins 2014 AIA Honor Award for Architecture (January 10, 2014) – The revamped Brooklyn Botanic Garden unveiled an undulating green roof that will capture and reuse over 200,000 gallons of rainwater each year.
- San Diego State University Adds Green Roof to Aztec Student Union (January 11, 2014) – A new San Diego State University student center is being outfitted with plant species that are well-suited to San Diego’s climate, as well as three large 50,000 gallon tanks that will capture and reuse stormwater runoff.
- Starting a “Treevolution”: Attendees, Officials Discuss Making Louisville More Sustainable (January 18, 2014) – Attendees at the Sustainability Summit in Louisville, Kentucky, are ready to start a “Treevolution,” and plan to move forward with sustainability initiatives such as green infrastructure and urban heat island reduction.
- Green Roof Project of the Week (January 21, 2014) – Indiana’s flagship Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio station installed one of Indianapolis’s largest green roofs. The green roof at WFYI is 6,000 square feet.
- i-Tree 2014 Mobile Software Now Available (January 22, 2014) –The U.S. Forest Service is making it easier than ever for homeowners and urban planners to discover the economic and ecological value of their trees with release of the updated free mobile software tool, iTree 2014.
- New Heat Island Group Research Compares Economics of White, Green, and Black Flat Roofs in the United States (January 21, 2014) – Looking strictly at the economic costs and benefits of three different roof types—black, white and green—Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers have found in a new study that white roofs are the most cost-effective over a 50-year time span.
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Announces 46 Urban Forestry Grants Awarded (January 30, 2014) – The Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Grant Program has awarded $602,486 to 46 Wisconsin communities, nonprofit organizations, and counties for community urban forestry projects.