Modern Home Builder - Fall 2017 - 10
THE HEAT IS ON
To fight the heat-island effect in Dallas, companies and groups are working together
to add trees and reduce the temperatures.
Climate change is affecting the way we live in a number
of ways, with cities being impacted differently than rural areas.
No one wants their quality of life impacted, so it's important
to understand what changes are occurring and how to stop or
deal with them. For example, in its 2017 Dallas Urban Heat
Island Effect report, Texas Trees Foundation shows the results
of a year-long study of the impacts and implications of air temperatures at the neighborhood level. Most notable among the
study's results: Dallas is heating up faster than every city in the
country except for Phoenix.
The Dallas Urban Heat Island study and ensuing report was
completed by Dr. Brian Stone, Professor, School of City and
Regional Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology, and author
of "The City and the Coming Climate - Climate Change in the
Places We Live." The report determined, "Cities do not cause
heat waves - they amplify them. Human activities on climate at
the city/regional scale, accounting for both land surface changes and emissions of greenhouses gases, may be twice as great as
the impacts of greenhouse gases alone."
Dallas, with 35 percent impervious surface (i.e., rooftops,
parking lots, highways, etc.), is hot - and getting hotter. Urban
areas retain heat in the buildings and pavement, and are up to
15°F warmer than rural areas where trees and open space are
The ramifications of urban heat adversely affect public
health, longevity of infrastructure, public opinion and the