Urban heat islands

Let’s talk about why it’s so hot right now in Toronto. Especially at night.

At long, long last, I have made myself set up the online version of Blacktop to green grounds: citizen engagement and the un-paving, permeablizing, and cultivating of routine public spaces — my 2008 report on urban heat islands and impervious surface area coverage (that is to say, concrete and asphalt). I put it off so long due to the amount of formatting involved and the human-hours required get it properly set up. Maybe I’m just doing the web wrong (or am still stuck in an older HTML mentality). But this heat wave nudged me to finally get off my bum and show it to other people.

The report, prepared as a partial fulfilment for my internship placement with Evergreen‘s Common Grounds team in 2007–08, explains why we have urban heat islands; what other cities have tried doing; and what we as Toronto citizens and our local communities can do to inversely impact our own urban heat island and to make things a little cooler while giving us some agency over our immediate localities.

If you don’t have time, then read the executive summary and look at the pretty pictures at the end of the report. But it would be worth your while to look through it when you can.