“An investment in Smart Surfaces is a win for Dallas residents.”
.…on one way the city is trying to beat the heat—and fight climate change.
Dallas is smack in the middle of its hottest week of the summer, with highs Tuesday through Sunday slated to be 105 to 106 degrees. But an innovative initiative may just cool things off a bit in the future.
Johnson and four other U.S. mayors recently joined with the Smart Surfaces Coalition to announce a project to cool cities and metropolitan areas with “Smart Surfaces”—an integrated solution that aims to reduce heat and fight climate change through the use of reflective “cool” roofs and pavements, green roofs, solar energy, porous pavements, rain gardens, and trees.
According to the coalition, Smart Surfaces can cool cities by 5 degrees, deliver “large reductions in flooding and resulting mold,” and provide $10 in benefits and cost savings for every $1 spent.
Along with Johnson and Dallas, the mayors of Atlanta, Boston, New Orleans, and Columbia, South Carolina have now joined Baltimore as Smart Surfaces cities.
How hot was July 4 around the world? Historically hot.
“This July 4 was the hottest day on Earth in recorded history,” Greg Kats, founder and CEO of the Smart Surfaces Coalition, said in a statement. “City residents worry and need city leaders to understand which surfaces can deliver cooler, healthier neighborhoods, save money, and be implemented immediately,” said “When cities embrace Smart Surfaces—from rooftops to roads—residents win.”
Mayor Johnson added that “leveraging this intelligent and cost-effective technology will cool our neighborhoods during hot Texas summers, reduce residents’ energy expenses, and minimize the impact of flash flooding events.”
National League of Cities got involved last spring
This past spring, the coalition and the National League of Cities invited mayors to partner in scaling Smart Surfaces city-wide. The partnership aims to ensure more livable, resilient cities including through satellite data, community education, a cost-benefit analysis tool, guidance for Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding, and policy implementation support.
The initiative has been funded by the Waverley Street Foundation and The JPB Foundation. The coalition includes over 40 partner organizations including the American Lung Association, World Cement Association, World Resources Institute, and WE ACT for Environmental Justice.
“Smart Surfaces—parks and open space, green roofs and cool pavements—are a smart public health strategy,” Howard Frumkin, SVP of The Trust for Public Land, said in a statement. “Not only do they reduce the hazards of extreme heat and severe storms, they also provide people with nature contact, places to be physically active, and places to connect with other people—all essential components of health and well-being.”
For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.
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