Cady, T. J., D. A. Rahn, N. A. Brunsell, and W. Lyles, 2020: Conversion of abandoned property to green space as a strategy to mitigate the urban heat island investigated with numerical simulations. J. Applied Meteor. Clim., 59, 1827-1843.
Urban areas are often hotter than surrounding rural areas, creating an "urban heat island" that can impact communities by increasing the summertime energy demand and heat-related illnesses and mortality. Several strategies exist to combat the warmer temperatures in urban areas, but have varying degrees of political and economic feasibility. Given the difficulty of implementing changes, we use a weather model to explore the impacts of a more feasible approach of converting abandoned property into green space such as parks in an area that has high vacancy rates. Simulations indicate that to have any significant impact, all of the abandoned lots must be converted. More conservative approaches have little impact on the temperature, but still may have additional environmental benefits.
TIMOTHY J. CADY, DAVID A. RAHN, NATHANIEL A. BRUNSELL, & WARD LYLES