Shaded Streets to Beat the Spanish Heat

After three months in Spain spending time with family and celebrating my wedding, my wife and I are heading back to North American soil. Now that the post-wedding dust has cleared, I've finally got a few minuts to post some thoughts and pictures that I've been saving.

Over the summer, the temperature in Granada was regularly hiting 40C on an exposed corner down the street from our apartment. The heat absorbed by black asphalt is a prime player in creating the urban heat island effect that gives cities their swelter summer days and nights.

Planting shade trees is often the proposed solution - a well shaded neighbourhood can be over 5 degrees cooler than the surrounding city. But trees take time to grow and some streets, especially narrow Spanish streets, don't have room for significant tree cover.

Here in Granada the city, sponsored by a local beer company (another good way to keep cool), hung shade cloth over the central portions of the city. [click image to see larger] It made for beautiful cool walking. Throw in a few fountains now and then, and terracotta roof tiles and you've got yourself one classy way to keep city temperatures down in the summer.

more on a similar note over at worldchanging.

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This is a blog for news and views on the future of sustainable cites. A major revamp is in the works. Until then I am keeping this version up as an archive of my past writing.

You can expect occasional updates, but not with the same frequency as in the past.

You can also find my writing on urban redesign and sustainability in ReNew Canada, The Mark, Sustainable Cities Canada, WorldChanging, and other more specialized academic publications.

Info on my consulting work, c.v. and current research focus is all here.