Why urban greening isn't a panacea for extreme weather under climate change
Urban greening is a crucial planning and climate change adaptation tool, but it has to be understood within specific local conditions. One size does not fit all.
New research by a global research team involving academics from UNSW Civil & Environmental Engineering with European colleagues suggests strategies such as green roofs and vegetated parks will not be able to mitigate heat waves and flooding at the same time.
Co-author Professor Denis O’Carroll, Director of UNSW’s Water Research Laboratory notes that 'For the first time this international team has quantified the cooling and stormwater retention benefits of urban greening globally.”
And their findings were somewhat surprising.
“Our research found that the ability of urban greening to mitigate local flooding and excess heat is not automatic nor, in some areas, even possible,” said lead author of study Dr Mark Cuthbert, Adjunct Associate Professor at UNSW Civil & Environmental Engineering. and Principal Research Fellow & Reader, Cardiff University.
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