Positive effects of vegetation: Urban heat island and green roofs

This paper attempts to evaluate the positive effects of vegetation with a multi-scale approach: an urban and a building scale.

Monitoring the urban heat island in four areas of New York City, we have found an average of 2 °C difference of temperatures between the most and the least vegetated areas, ascribable to the substitution of vegetation with man-made building materials.

At micro-scale, we have assessed the effect of surface albedo on climate through the use of a climatological model.  Then, using the CO2 equivalents as indicators of the impact on climate, we have compared the surface albedo, and the construction, replacement and use phase of a black, a white and a green roof.  By our analyses, we found that both the white and the green roofs are less impactive than the black one; with the thermal resistance, the biological activity of plants and the surface albedo playing a crucial role.

Suggested citation or credit:

Environmental Pollution
Volume 159, Issues 8–9, August–September 2011, Pages 2119–2126
May 2008, Volume 127, Issue 2, pp 219-239

Source: Environmental Pollution

Publication Date: September 2011

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