Dallas has started an initiative to reduce the effects of its urban heat island. Urban heat islands are created when city level wooded areas and re-route water paths to build buildings. The result is a considerably higher air temperature, lower air quality, and storm water run-off.
The city has teamed with the Environmental Protection Agency, to make significant changes to its urban areas. This project includes:
· Planting trees within the city to reflect the sun and provide shade. The city has $1 million available to purchase trees.
· Creating financial incentives for property owners to upgrade their roofs to “cool” or shaded roofs. These energy efficient roofs absorb the sun’s rays and reduce the amount of heat reflected back into the air.
· Reducing storm water runoff with the installation of vegetation, permeable surfaces, and shaded areas. Storm water runoff contributes to flooding and a reduction in ground water resources.
The project is expected to run through June of 2010. Dallas city leaders hope to see better air quality and improved ground water resources through these efforts.