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Urban Heat Island Effect 2015

VIEW Proposals
Proposal creation

CoLab members create proposals

Oct 1, 2014 12:00 EDT - Feb 6, 2015 11:59 EST
Semi-Finalist selection
Expert judges select semi-finalists

Feb 7, 2015 12:00 EST - Feb 17, 2015 11:59 EST
Proposal revisions
Semi-finalists can improve their proposals

Feb 18, 2015 12:01 EST - Mar 1, 2015 11:59 EST
Finalist selection
Expert judges select finalists

Mar 2, 2015 12:01 EST - Mar 6, 2015 12:00 EST
Voting period
Public Voting Period

Mar 6, 2015 12:01 EST - Apr 1, 2015 12:00 EDT
Winners are awarded

Apr 1, 2015 12:01 EDT
How can we effectively mitigate the urban heat island effect in Cambridge, Massachusetts?

The “urban heat island” effect (UHI) describes the phenomenon of a region, a city or an area within a city being significantly warmer than its surroundings. UHI is the result of several factors, most notably a lack of tree cover, and extensive paved surfaces and dark roofs. On average, the difference in daytime surface temperatures between developed and rural areas is 18 to 27 °F (10 to 15°C). There are several negative impacts of UHI. Higher temperatures result in additional air conditioning load on buildings, increasing energy use and creating additional waste heat that adds to the UHI effect. Higher temperatures also present a range of public health risks from heat stress and temperature-related degradation of air quality (e.g., greater ozone formation at higher temperatures) which are particularly relevant for the elderly, the young, and people with compromised health. Warmer temperatures induced by climate change will exacerbate the UHI effect and increase the impacts of UHI. The City of Cambridge seeks innovative, realistic, actionable, and location-based strategies to mitigate UHI. Effective policies, programs, incentives, and/or regulatory ideas should be specific and measurable.

33 Proposals
Algae Frames to handle Co2 emission and Global Warming
MIT's flat roofs are the largest contributor to Cambridge's UHI; The best chance to reduce the city's temp is to cover them with vegetation.
Depave driveways to decrease urban heating!
Solar PV panels generate electricity and insulate the building! Solar hot water panels capture the sun's heat directly and store it in water
District geothermal loops allow property owners to install geothermal heat pumps when they cannot create geothermal loops on their property.
Lighten all municipal parking lot surface temps with white paint & healthy tree boats
Urban Forests, a living infrastructure, consist of private and public trees. Both need legal protection
Apply ancient Roman invention (the velarium) imbedded w/thin-film solar cells above urban hot spots to disrupt heat island effect.
Designing an oasis in the heat island of Cambridge
Combining technology such as algae powered lamps and infrared heating systems; we could create limitless applications to reduce urban heat.
Roofs can be planted with special plants. Multiple advantages: less urban heat island, better insulation, water retention and a nicer view.
Fresh Pond can be a focal point for UHI mitigation RD&D/community outreach efforts. Management, funding and STEM issues are addressed below.
UHI Mitigation through Visualizing, Quantifying, Mapping and Monitoring Urban Waste Heat from House to City: Education & Engagement
The Cool Cash Program incentivizes efficient home cooling, generates community cooling opportunities & reduces waste heat additions to UHI.
City actions aim to limit solar heat, reduce traffic pollution, and integrate freight transport
FIGHT urban heat island effect like a forest. Capture water, filter light, and evaporate to keep cool.
Acetone based fuels and organic acid treatment to handle plastic waste and create alternate fuel
Integrating vertical aquaponic and algae farms in unused walls/roofs, promoting sustainability, creating a community for STEAMS education
How much Hot Exhaust is being vented into the atmosphere? How much CO2 is in this exhaust. Lets recover the heat energy and remove the CO2.
Combustion engines produce a lot of waste heat. Switching to electric vehicles would eventually eliminate this UHI contribution.
UHI is a symptom of a bigger problem. Reorganise the city using circular economy, closed water and food cycles and local energy production.
Addressing UHI by integrating the use of vegetation,Ecoroofing, and increasing the pervious pave ways in Cambridge city Massachusetts.
turn heat islands into green islands! Flat roofs >>> Greenhouse spaces; passive solar heating, convective/vegetative cooling, and more
The radiations from sun will be passing through botanically prepared filters after striking to exposed areas being in less hotter forms.
Mature Trees cool earth's surface. Gas leaks R killing mature trees. Detect & fix leak before more trees die
Nuclear, natural gas-- 33% eff. Combined heat and power (CHP) increases that efficiency to closer to 66% ZoomHydro increases reach of CHP.
Solar cooling can end the bad loop, where the “urban heat island” effect increases the demand for cooling causing additional heat outside...
Cool roofs are a proven solution to the 'heat island' effects, as well as a solution to discomfort and high AC use.
Paint the streets white, and as a symbol of the commitment to sustainability, paint the lines in the middle of the street green.
Proposal for pilot program replacing HVAC with geothermal systems for buildings in highest city heat zones. See
A coating that allows grass to grow on rooftops with little preperation or modification would significantly reduce costs of green roofs.