Friday, April 30, 2021

How to Save the Environment: Green the Cities

Cities and dramatic climate change: Over 50,000 people died in 2003 throughout Europe. Climate change has reached the cities. For the majority of the population, life becomes more exhausting, more difficult, and sometimes even dangerous.

Take for example the city of Stuttgart, Germany, which is particularly affected by climate change.  The heat builds up between the grey high gorges.  The difference in temperature between the surrounding area and the city center can be up to 10 degrees.  A calculation by the German Weather Service for downtown Stuttgart shows an increase on summer days, that is, days with a maximum temperature of more than 25 degrees. Whereas in 2015 there were 44 summer days per year, by 2050 there will be over 70 degrees Celsius. 

Cities and Municipalities Can Adapt to the Consequences of Climate Change:
It is particularly important to plan exactly how enough fresh air can get into the city.  For cities, such as Stuttgart, Frankfurt, or New York City, it is important, if not the most important, that they have an air pathway. Especially in the height of summer, it brings fresh, cool air into the city. So-called cold-air islands also form over open areas such as meadows and fields in the surrounding countryside, thus bringing a cooling wind towards the city center.

In order not to endanger this air circulation, the aim of the Frankfurt environmental authority is to concentrate the development on the inner city area and to prevent it from spreading into the cooling green belt.  And: new apartment blocks should leave gaps so as not to obstruct ventilation.  As was for example the case with the construction of Frankfurt's Hafencity in Germany.  But that alone is not enough.

More Green Into the City Center 
The inner cities will still heat up considerably.  In summer it can get unbearably hot here.  A complete greening of the square could provide cooling: with additional trees, overgrown facades, and plants on roofs.  According to calculations by scientists, this could lead to a cooling of 6 to 8 degrees on hot days.

A really clean environment - there are still a lot of things in disorder. But it is amazing how much we can do for an intact environment.  We all just have to overcome our complacency sometimes.


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