Lighten Up Blog

Heat affects nearly every aspect of urban life. This forum is dedicated to better understanding how cooling cities down makes them healthier, happier, more prosperous, and more climate-friendly places to be.

Is Increasing Reflectivity Risky for Cities? Nope.

Posted by gcca on December 4, 2015

Earlier this year, Altostratus and CalEPA rolled out a UHI Index that quantifies the intensity of urban heat. For the first time, we can now measure and visualize the severity of the heat challenges facing cities. You can check out the details from CalEPA here. This really is a great new tool that we’d like  Read More…

New Infographic Explains Peak Savings from Cool Roofs

Posted by gcca on August 20, 2015

Sika USA, a roofing manufacturer, has a series of really good infographics covering a variety of cool roof topics. The latest shows how cool roofs help building owners save significantly on their energy bills by reducing peak demand charges. The graphic clarifies an important but complicated and fairly wonky issue. Check it out on their  Read More…

New Energy & Buildings paper highlights cool communities in CA and beyond

Posted by bhmandel on July 28, 2015

A new paper now in press in Energy and Buildings highlights local and state initiatives to advance cool roofs, cool pavements, and urban vegetation in California and beyond. In particular, the paper reviews efforts that two of California’s largest school districts have undertaken to deploy cool community measures to keep schoolyards cooler and reduce energy  Read More…

Chicago Marks a Deadly Anniversary

Posted by karen-smith-murphy on July 27, 2015

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the deadly heatwave in Chicago, IL, which killed an estimated 739 people and showed that even in northern climates, urban heat kills.  Our world was already warming in 1995, but 20 years ago this northern city wasn’t used to these extreme heat events and many Chicago residents didn’t  Read More…

American Institute of Architects Recognizes the Benefits of Cool Roofs

Posted by karen-smith-murphy on July 6, 2015

In April of this year, GCCA Board Member Greg Kats published a study of the health benefits of cool roofs on Washington DC-owned buildings. After the District retrofitted many of its buildings with white roofs, green roofs, and / or solar collectors the city started saving money. This study turns things on its head by  Read More…