The Worldwide Challenge & Opportunity of Excess Urban Heat

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In the near future, 2 out of 3 people will live in an urban area. These urban spaces are heating up at twice the rate of global average climate change, presenting a broad spectrum of challenges to health, equity, resiliency, energy and prosperity that, if left unchecked, will cost the average city nearly 6% of its economic output to address.  Cities around the world are working to mitigate urban heat and its impacts through a variety of technological, structural, and behavioral approaches, including installing reflective and vegetated urban surfaces to manage sun and rain.

These strategies have the potential to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in net benefits for cities that adopt them, yet the pace of adoption lags the urgency and opportunity.  This seminar explores efforts to reduce excess urban heat, the barriers to implementing heat mitigation strategies, and the massive opportunity of achieving cooler cities.


  • Kurt Shickman is the Executive Director of the Global Cool Cities Alliance (GCCA), a non-profit focused on helping communities, cities, and countries address the challenges of excess urban heat.


Large Conference Room, World Resources Institute, Room 800
10 G Street, NE
Washington DC 20002

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