New study shows ways to maximize temperature-lowering benefits of Chicago’s green roofs

Jessica Sieff

Researchers have created an integrated framework to identify which neighborhoods would benefit most from green roofs -- and provide city officials with a strategic approach to ensure the best return on their investment to beat the heat.

Extreme heat poses a unique challenge to cities in the United States. According to the National Weather Service, extreme heat accounts for 20 percent of deaths by natural hazard in the United States, taking an average of 130 lives per year.

With exploding urban populations and increasing migration, cities are struggling to keep up with increases in extreme heat-related climate impacts, threatening human health, straining energy resources and reducing economic productivity. Heavily populated cities like Chicago have made an effort to mitigate the effects of extreme heat, implementing green roofs designed to provide insulation and significantly lower temperatures.

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