Sunday June 20th 2021
Full sun day after day
Miami declares war on excessive heat
When streets and concrete buildings really heat up in summer, city dwellers in particular suffer more and more from rising temperatures. To make the hot days in Miami, Florida, a little more bearable in the future, the city is now appointing its first female “Chief Heat Officer”.
Climate change is real and with it the temperatures keep rising year after year. While this is not so inconvenient for some residents in the country, people in large cities in particular are suffering more and more from the rising temperatures. The streets and concrete buildings heat up in summer and make the already warm weather even more unbearable. Three cities that are particularly affected are therefore now introducing their own Chief Heat Officer as a pilot project for other cities.
Miami is the first of the three cities to fill this post. Greece’s capital Athens and Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, are expected to follow suit soon. Figures from 2020 show why there should be people responsible, especially in large cities like this: 5600 people are said to have died in the past year, directly or indirectly, from the increasing heat.
Miami’s Chief Heat Officer Jane Gilbert wants to fight this. In order to adapt Miami to the increased temperatures in the future, she wants to block cooling paving stones and roofs in the city, among other things. The material is supposed to simply reflect the sun’s rays and thus allow the temperatures in the city to cool down. In addition, Gilbert wants to increasingly rely on shady trees along the footpaths, which enable residents to walk to their next appointment or ride their bikes without sweating.
None of these are entirely new projects. Above all, what is new is that Gilbert now only takes care of the heat problem around the clock. The various departments in the city should then be commissioned to implement the project. “The fight against the heat is cross-departmental and cross-agency,” said Gilbert.
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The new chief heat officer wants to give the poorer layers a helping hand, who suffer most from the heat. Because many of the socially disadvantaged work day after day in the blazing sun. In addition, they usually live in apartments without proper air conditioning or insulation.
The findings from Miami should form a basis for other US cities. The Chief Heat Officers from Athens and Freetown deliver their results to other cities in Europe and Africa, respectively. So that our cities can offer protection from excessive heat in the future.
This article first appeared on Business Punk.