Switzerland sizzles up to 37 degrees. The high temperatures are almost unbearable, especially in the cities. The urban heat island effect has been scientifically proven. It ensures that urban areas can be up to 15 degrees hotter than their rural neighbors.
One of the main causes of the effect is a tighter floor surface. Concrete radiates more heat than grass, for example.
Cities around the world have recognized this problem, which has been exacerbated by climate change and poor urban planning. The authorities are now resorting to various strategies to reduce the heat in their cities.
Barcelona, for example, relies on greening the streets. The Spanish city launched a “tree master plan” in 2017 with the goal of covering 30 percent of the city’s area with green, climate-resilient plants by 2037.
China and Japan also had to contend with record temperatures this summer. That is why major cities such as Wuhan or Tokyo rely on mist spray to calm the population. Mobile “spray guns” are also common in the streets of China.
Mist spray is also being trialled in Switzerland, for example last year and this year in Zurich. The turbine site pilot project will be evaluated at the end of the year.
Light colors radiate less heat than dark colors – the Greeks, for example, take advantage of this fact and have long relied on whitewashed homes.
Experiments are also being carried out on white roofs in the desert city of Las Vegas (USA). Light colored asphalt is used in Phoenix, Arizona, for example. This heats up to seven degrees less than a traditional dark road surface.
Seville and other Spanish cities, such as Madrid or Murcia, rely on a different strategy: sun sails. The streets of the old town are covered with umbrellas so that tourists can find enough shade when strolling.
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