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Urban Heat Island Effect: A Burning Issue

Expert Content


The impact of the traditional urban built environment has been creating an Urban Heat Island Effect, which in turn contributes to imbalances in the natural ecology, human health, environmental justice, and air quality.

Learning Objectives

  • Become familiar with the term urban heat island effect and traditional urban building design which impacts ecology, air quality, and human health.
  • Understand the design strategies and materials choices available to mitigate urban heat island effect in the built environment.
  • Unpack the deeper environmental justice and economic implications associated with urban heat island effect and how action is being taken on the community level to strive for positive change.
  • Recognize that green/healthy building rating systems can be a guide for project success in contributing to heat island reduction for commercial or residential projects.
  • Identify the role of professionals including architects, landscape architects and urban planners in the role of designing urban centers to reduce urban heat island effect.

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