Research indicates that most American cities will experience up to five or 10 times as many excessively hot (90+ degrees Fahrenheit) days within a few decades.
To help reduce urban heat, 22 U.S. organizations have launched the Smart Surfaces Coalition. The group’s aim is to help cities to understand how to use advanced surface technologies to reduce heat and prevent flooding.
U.S. cities can cut excess heat days by half, save $700 billion, and create 270,000 new jobs by deploying smart surfaces, according to a news release from the U.S. Green Building Council. “Rapidly rising temperatures are already costing consumers and companies billions in higher energy and health care costs, and making American communities less livable and healthy,” the release says.
Smart surface technologies allow cities to better manage sun radiation and storm water runoff through:
- Cool roofs and pavements that reflect away (instead of absorbing) sunlight—cutting temperatures and smog
- Green roofs and trees that provide shade and reduce flood risk
- Solar PV that converts sunshine into electricity and provides shade
- Porous pavements, sidewalks, and roads that reduce water runoff and flooding and cut the cost of managing storm water