— Automated Cars May Boost Fuel Use, Toyota Scientist Says | Bloomberg.com, Jul 16, 2014
— How Parking Spaces Are Eating Our Cities Alive | Citylab
Jokey post title, but this is actually pretty serious…
A Yale study finds that urban heat islands are worse in the climate of the southeastern US. The effect on cities like Atlanta & Nashville could be huge as global temps rise, according to the report.
The culprit turns out to be a toxic mix of wet, hot weather and the vast surfaces of our human built environment. In that climate, the surfaces trap heat longer instead of letting out slowly into the lower atmosphere.
My amateur prescription for our future’s health: reduce the surface area of our built environment by building up instead of out (multistory instead of detached, low-rise structures), narrowing our road surfaces and reducing highway infrastructure (which will require undoing car dependency, of course) and, most importantly, shedding ourselves of our deadly heat-trapping parking lots.
Region saved. Lives spared. You’re welcome!
Above image from an equally scary NASA page on Atlanta heat islands.