Prof. Stone’s research fuels the cooling of Louisville

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During the hottest times of year, dark or paved areas—whether on roofs or on the ground—soak up and store heat. These surfaces continue to release this heat throughout the day and night, preventing the area from cooling down after sunset. Patchy urban tree canopies struggle to clean the air and keep temperatures down. The urban heat islands don’t cause air pollution, but make the effects of pollution worse.

Professor Brian Stone is one of the country’s foremost experts in urban heat. “Cities essentially create their own climates,” he says. “And the urban heat island effect is one way to measure that. There’s a heat island effect, really, in every large city.” Stone’s research found that Louisville is warming at the fastest rate of any city in the nation, causing summer temperatures in the urban core to be up to 20 degrees higher than surrounding areas. Louisville is taking this possibility seriously and, in the process, has been more aggressive and comprehensive than any other city in tackling the problem, including securing private grants to fund a $135,000 study of the city’s urban heat island. The analysis, which is scheduled to be done later this year, is the first of its kind in the country, and possibly the world, according to Stone, who is leading the project.

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School of City & Regional Planning

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Brian Stone, climate change, cooling, heat island, louisville, warming
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  • Created By: Jessie Brandon
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Dec 18, 2014 - 5:47am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 10:27pm