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How unsealing your paved garden can help reduce city heat

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Deutsche Welle or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Urban areas, characterized by concrete and asphalt, experience significantly higher temperatures due to the "urban heat island effect" 
•  This phenomenon can result in dangerous heat levels, contributing to heat-related illnesses and deaths
• Individuals and cities, such as Copenhagen, are addressing this issue by converting impervious surfaces to green spaces, thereby mitigating heat and promoting environmental sustainability

🔭 The context: The urban heat island effect is exacerbated by materials like glass, steel, and concrete, which absorb and re-emit heat 
• This effect not only impacts human comfort and health, with over 60,000 heat-related deaths in Europe during the summer of 2022 but also poses a greater risk as global populations and temperatures rise

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Transforming sealed surfaces into permeable, green areas aids in water management and reduces urban temperatures
• This shift towards green spaces can prevent overwhelming sewer systems during heavy rains, minimize flooding risks, and create natural cooling zones, thereby contributing to urban resilience against climate change

⏭️ What's next: As efforts to unseal paved areas gain traction, adopting practices like using drought-resistant plants and creating permeable driveways can significantly contribute to making cities cooler and more sustainable 
• These measures are vital for adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change, particularly in densely populated urban areas

💬 One quote: "It is like stepping out of the shower. Once the water evaporates, it gets cold on your skin," (Wolfgang Heidenreich, landscape architect at Green City)

📈 One stat: Urban areas can be up to 7 degrees Fahrenheit (3.9 Celsius) warmer than their rural counterparts, underscoring the critical need for urban greening initiatives

Click for more news covering the latest on sustainable living

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