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Heat Islands

Heat Island Community Actions Database

Last Updated: January 8, 2020

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State Locality Mechanism Mitigation Strategy Link Title & Description Status
Arizona Phoenix, Mesa Outreach and Education Program; Demonstration Project; Urban Forestry Project; Climate Action Plan Trees and Vegetation Nature's Cooling Systems Project Beginning in 2017, Nature’s Cooling Systems launched three neighborhood pilot projects to develop heat action plans that reflect local knowledge. The plans outline neighborhood-specific solutions to combat the effects of extreme heat. A series of workshops developed awareness, social capital, agency for under-represented populations, and identified appropriate interventions. Solutions include: creating cooler pedestrian routes, adding shade structures at bus stops, and developing a heat safety training program. Nature's Cooling Systems is led by the Nature Conservancy Arizona Chapter, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, Arizona State University, the Central Arizona Conservation Alliance, Phoenix Revitalization Corporation, RailMesa, and Puente Movement. It is funded by the Vitalyst Health Foundation. Active
Arizona Phoenix Green Building Program and Standards; Tree and Landscape Ordinance; Building Code; Resolution; Zoning Code Trees and Vegetation Green Walking Districts As part of the Reinvent PHX project, the city adopted the Walkable Urban Code in 2015, which regulates development around light rail stations in five Transit-Oriented Districts. Building designs are expected to provide a minimum of 75% shade on sidewalks to reduce the heat island effect, increase walkability, and create a more vibrant transit and pedestrian environment. Active
Arizona Phoenix Green Building Program and Standards; Building Code Cool Roofs Cool Roofs Initiative The implementation of the Phoenix Cool Roofs Initiative in 2012 further supported the goals of the city's Green Construction Code. The initiative coated more than 71,000 square feet of public roof tops with reflective materials. Implementation of cool roofs reduced building carbon emissions by an average of nearly 28 metric tons per year. Policy now dictates that all newly designed and renovated city buildings must include cool roof coatings. Active
Arizona Phoenix Comprehensive Plan and Design Guidelines Trees and Vegetation Tree and Shade Master Plan Adopted by City Council in 2010, the Tree and Shade Master Plan is a product of the Tree and Shade Task Force. The multi-departmental Task Force evaluated the causes of Phoenix's declining urban forest and identified regulatory hurdles that prevent the construction of shade structures over public sidewalks. The goals of the Plan include creating a healthier, more livable, and prosperous city through strategic investment in the care and maintenance of the urban forest and engineered shade. Active
Arizona Phoenix Research; Outreach and Education Program Cool Roofs; Cool Pavements ASU SMART Arizona State University Sustainable Materials and Renewable Technologies Program – The Arizona State University Sustainable Materials and Renewable Technologies (SMART) Program is a trans-disciplinary group of researchers, industries and governmental agencies from around the globe working in partnership to develop the next generation of urban materials and advanced biological and solar technologies. SMART researchers are developing these materials that aid in the mitigation of the urban heat island, reduce energy demand for mechanical cooling, and incorporate feedstocks diverted from waste streams in an effort to support urbanization in a more sustainable manner. Active
California Chula Vista Building Standard / Energy Code; Green Building Program and Standards; Tree and Landscape Ordinance; Demonstration Project Cool Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool Pavements Climate Change Working Group – Climate Action Planning
2013 Progress Report
Climate Adaptation Strategies – Chula Vista identified 11 climate adaptation strategies, three of which directly address urban heat islands: the installation of cooler paving products, cooler roofing materials, and the incorporation of more shade trees. The city is sponsoring a demonstration project that will evaluate multiple reflective pavement technologies and develop implementation options based on these results. All new residential buildings in Climate Zone 10 are required to have cool roofs. After new, more stringent California building standards come into effect, the city will evaluate amendments to their cool roof policy. Additionally, it is developing a policy to require all municipal improvement projects and private parking lot development projects to incorporate a certain percentage of shade trees based on the development size. Active
California Davis Tree and Landscape Ordinance Trees and Vegetation Chapter 37 of the City of Davis Municipal Code Davis Landscaping Ordinance – Davis requires that 50% of the paved parking lot surface of any building must be shaded with tree canopies within 15 years of acquisition of a building permit. Specific guidelines for the development of the canopies are outlined by the city. Only trees from the city's list may be used as parking lot shade trees unless otherwise approved by the city's arborist. It is recommended that the genera of trees be varied throughout the parking lot. Trees will receive 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% shading credit based on their location relative to paved surfaces. Active
California Los Angeles Urban Forestry Program Trees and Vegetation Million Trees LA Million Trees LA – This cooperative effort between the City of Los Angeles, community groups, businesses, and individuals aims to plant and provide long-term stewardship of one million trees planted throughout Los Angeles. Residents interested in free trees can contact the program, which also provides tutorials and information on planting trees. Individuals and groups can volunteer to help with community tree plantings. Active
California Los Angeles Building Standard Cool Roofs L.A. Cool Roofs Building Code L.A. Cool Roofs Building Code – The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to require "cool roofs" for all new and refurbished homes, becoming the first major U.S. city to do so. The cool roof mandate will not cost homeowners additional money because of expanded incentives. Active
California Los Angeles Research Trees and Vegetation; Cool Roofs; Cool Pavements Los Angeles Urban Cooling Collaborative The Los Angeles Urban Cooling Collaborative (LAUCC) is a multi-disciplinary, national partnership of universities, nonprofit organizations, community groups and government agencies focused on designing data-driven, dynamic, inclusive approaches for cooling urban areas using strategies including trees, reflective surfaces, behavior change and well-crafted policy. LAUCC's goal is to reduce the risk that extreme heat poses to public health in vulnerable communities. LAUCC's research partners represent many entities, including TreePeople, Climate Resolve, Global Cool Cities Alliance, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters, California State University Northridge Departments of Anthropology and Geography, Arizona State University Urban Climate Research Center, and Kent State University. Active
California Martinez Building Standard / Energy Code; Green Building Program and Standards; Tree and Landscape Ordinance Cool Roofs; Trees and Vegetation City of Martinez Climate Action Plan Urban Heat Islands – Martinez is addressing the issue of urban heat islands in its climate action plan. The city aims to reduce the heat island effect through targeted upgrades of existing buildings and paved areas; adoption of new building standards, including the new cool roof standard contained in California’s Title 24 Energy Standards; tree planting; and new requirements for shading in new parking lots and other large paved areas. Active
California Sacramento Incentive; Urban Forestry Program Trees and Vegetation Rebates – Shade Trees Sacramento Shade – Since 1990, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is partnering with the Sacramento Tree Foundation to provide more than 350,000 free shade trees to residents in the Sacramento area. This program encourages residents to strategically plant vegetation around their homes to reduce energy consumption. Homes with an eastern, western, or southern exposure that heats up during the summer are eligible for this program. SMUD provides trees between four and seven feet tall (1.2–2.2 meters), as well as stakes, ties, fertilizer, tree delivery, and expert advice on tree selection and planting techniques free of charge. Homeowners must agree to plant and care for the trees. Active
California Sacramento Tree and Landscape Ordinance Trees and Vegetation Section 17.612.040 Tree Shading Requirements for Parking Lots Sacramento Parking Lot Shading Ordinance – Since 1983, an ordinance in Sacramento's zoning code has required that enough trees be planted to shade 50% of new, or significantly altered, parking lots after 15 years of tree growth. A 2001 study found that the lots were only achieving about 25% shading because sometimes shade was double-counted, trees did not grow to their expected size under conditions of the lot, or trees were not adequately dispersed. Based on these findings, Sacramento modified its code in 2003 to improve coverage. Active
California San Diego Climate Action Plan Trees and Vegetation Executive Summary City of San Diego Climate Protection Action Plan (PDF) San Diego Climate Protection Action Plan – San Diego identified several steps to help mitigate the urban heat island effect. These steps are included in the city's Climate Protection Action Plan and are as follows: develop and adopt an urban heat island mitigation policy; support the Community Forest Advisory Board and Community Forest Initiative, which includes planting 5,000 shade trees per year on public property for twenty years; develop a public tree protection policy; and annually review and revise existing policies that are related to tree planting, water reclamation, and open space preservation. Active
California San Francisco Research; Outreach and Education Program Heat Vulnerability Index San Francisco Vulnerability to the Health Impacts of Extreme Heat Heat Vulnerability Spatial Index – The San Francisco Department of Public Health, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control, has developed a Heat Vulnerability Spatial Index. San Francisco displayed vulnerabilities during the 2006 heat wave. The Heat Vulnerability Spatial Index takes into account social vulnerability, built environmental attributes, and land surface temperature. It shows heat vulnerability by neighborhood, and will allow for a comprehensive citywide strategic plan for extreme heat events. Active
California San Joaquin Valley Research Cool Roofs; Cool Pavements Providence Engineering Study Evaluation of Innovative Ozone Mitigation Strategies – The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (APCD) awarded Central California Ozone Study (CCOS) funds to Providence Engineering to evaluate urban heat island mitigation for air quality impact. Providence Engineering used the Mitigation Impact Screening Tool developed by the U.S. EPA to simulate the atmospheric effects of citywide pavement and roofing albedo changes for San Francisco, Sacramento, and Fresno. Providence Engineering also calculated the cost-benefit ratio of these urban-scale changes using cost data for various construction materials. Completed
California Statewide Building Code Cool Roofs Title 24, Part 6
2013 Updates
California Code of Regulations: California's Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings – In response to electrical power shortages, the state of California added cool roofs as an energy efficiency option to its building energy code (Title 24) in 2001. The code defines a cool roof as having a minimum solar reflectance of 70% and minimum thermal emittance of 75%, unless it is concrete or clay tile, in which case it can have a minimum solar reflectance of 40%. This 40% rating incorporates new cool-colored residential products into the standard. In 2005, these cool roof provisions became mandatory requirements for all new non-residential construction and re-roofing projects that involve more than 2,000 square feet (180 m2) or 50% replacement. The code allows owners to meet these requirements in a variety of ways. California updated Title 24, with revised standards finalized in 2008. Active
California Statewide Green Building Program and Standards Cool Pavements AB 296 Bill Analysis AB 296 (Skinner) – AB 296 requires that the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) develop and publish a Cool Pavements Handbook that would outline a standard specification for cool pavements. Caltrans is required to conduct one or more cool pavement pilot projects and to report the cost information and results of the pilot projects to the California Legislature, and to incorporate references to the handbook in its Construction Manual. Caltrans is encouraged to work with other state agencies in California, and authorized to enter into an agreement with federal agencies such as EPA, or the Department of Energy, for development of the handbook. The Building Standards Commission are required, for the next triennial code adopted after January 1, 2015, to consider incorporating the specifications from the Cool Pavements Handbook into the California Green Building Standards Code. Active
California Statewide Incentive Trees and Vegetation Urban Greening Grants Program Urban Greening Grants – This program provides financial assistance to urban greening plans and projects in California. Up to $20 million of funds were available in Fiscal Year 2011/12. For a plan or project to be selected, it must meet certain requirements and go through a competitive selection process. Active
California Statewide Outreach and Education Program Cool Roofs; Green Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool Pavements Climate Action for Health (PDF) Integrating Public Health into Climate Action Planning – The California Department of Public Health has developed a guide to how health and climate change are related. The guide identifies strategies to reduce the urban heat island effect, a consequence of climate change. The strategies include developing well-vegetated urban parks, exploring the role of landscaping and green roofs, planting urban forests, and using light-colored building and pavement materials. Active
California Statewide Outreach and Education Program Trees and Vegetation California Adaptation Planning Guide (PDF) PHSE 4: Develop an urban heat island reduction program that includes an urban forest program or plan – The California Emergency Management Agency and the California Natural Resources Agency have created a guide for local governments to address the consequences of climate change. The guide includes a Public Health, Socioeconomic, and Equity Impacts (PHSE) strategy to address the urban heat island effect. The strategy includes recommendations such as tree planting and long-term maintenance through urban forest programs, and using cool roofs and pavements. Active
California Statewide Urban Forestry Program; Demonstration Project Green Roofs; Trees and Vegetation California Urban and Community Forestry California Urban Forestry Program – This program is the lead for the development of sustainable urban and community forests in California. It provides information, education and assistance to local governments, nonprofits, private companies, and the general public that help to advance urban forestry initiatives. Through the program, the state plants an average of 10,000 to 20,000 trees a year. Local governments and nonprofits can apply for grants from the program; eligible projects include non-traditional urban forestry initiatives such as green roofs. Active
California Statewide/Alameda County Research; Outreach and Education Program Heat Vulnerability Index Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Indicators for California and Data Visualization Vulnerabilities to Heat – The California Department of Public Health looked at individual communities' vulnerability to heat waves by identifying indicators of risk. These indicators include: high proportions of elderly population, socially isolated populations, children, outdoor workers, the poor, the chronically ill, and the medically underserved. Using these indicators, heat index values were developed in Alameda County using census tracts: 50 represents the maximum vulnerability, -20 represents the minimum vulnerability, and -3.2 is the mean. Completed
California Windsor Green Building Program and Standards Cool Roofs Green Building Ordinance (PDF) Green Building Ordinance – The Green Building Ordinance in Windsor applies to all new residential and commercial construction projects as well as remodels that consist of at least 75% reconstruction of total building/residency. The ordinance states that buildings must follow “green building standards,” which include the use of certified sustainable wood products and energy efficient construction designs, as well as the incorporation of shade trees and cool reflective or green roofs. Active
District of Columbia Washington Comprehensive Plan and Design Guidelines; Air Quality Requirement Trees and Vegetation Plan to Improve Air Quality in the Washington, DC-MD-VA Region (PDF) State Implementation Plan – The Washington D.C. region's State Implementation Plan includes a Regional Canopy Management Plan as a ground-level ozone reduction strategy. The plan involves working with local governments to establish goals for increasing tree canopy coverage and decreasing ground-level ozone pollution. Active
District of Columbia Washington Incentive Green Roofs Green Roofs D.C.'s Unified Green Roof Rebate Program – The program provides base funding of $7 per square foot for a green roof. Additional funding can be provided for features that add to environmental goals. Green roofs offer numerous benefits, including reduction of the heat island effect and improved stormwater management. The program is administered by the Anacostia Watershed Society for the District Department of the Environment (DDOE). It helped the DDOE develop a Green Roof Toolkit that assists District building owners with making decisions on designing and installing green roofs. Active
District of Columbia Washington Urban Forestry Program Trees and Vegetation District Urban Forestry Program
D.C. Tree Planting Underway
Sustainable DC Plan: Goal 2, Action 2.1
Urban Forestry Program – From November 2012 to May 2013, the D.C. Department of Transportation's Urban Forestry Administration planted 6,400 trees across the city as part of a $1.8 million program. Benefits include stormwater reduction, improved air quality, and lower temperatures. The District of Columbia Grove is part of The American Grove, a national online community created to engage and encourage citizens to plant trees, share stories and experiences, and protect the urban tree canopy. Additionally, the City aims to plant 8,600 new trees per year through 2032. Completed
District of Columbia Washington Comprehensive Plan and Design Guidelines Trees and Vegetation; Cool Pavements; Cool Roofs DC 2013 Updated Green Construction Codes Green Construction Codes – On March 28, 2014, D.C. passed the 2013 DC Construction Codes, which include compliance with the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), cool roof requirements for private buildings, and a requirement that roofs either have a minimum Solar Reflectance Index rating of 78 or meet ENERGY STAR standards. Active
Florida Miami-Dade County Tree and Landscape Ordinance Trees and Vegetation See Chapter 18A Miami-Dade Landscaping Ordinance – In 1995, Miami-Dade County established landscaping ordinances for different classes of structures, which establish requirements for planted vegetation surrounding all buildings. For example, single-family residential units are required to have three trees (new construction only). Active
Florida Miami-Dade County Urban Forestry Program; Tree and Landscape Ordinance Trees and Vegetation Million TREES Miami Million TREES Miami (MTM) – MTM is a community-wide effort to plant one million trees by 2020. Miami-Dade County created the Street Tree Master Plan as a framework to design and implement street tree planting. This complements the city’s landscape and tree ordinances and will help reach the goal of 30% tree canopy cover in the city by 2020. The program will help mitigate the urban heat island effect in Miami and reduce the city’s energy consumption. Other co-benefits include reduced stormwater runoff and improved air quality. Active
Florida Orlando Tree and Landscape Ordinance Trees and Vegetation See Section 61.226 Street Trees City of Orlando Street Tree Code – Orlando specifies that trees must be planted along both sides of a street, with one tree every 50 to 100 feet (15–30 m). The selected trees must eventually be capable of reaching a minimum height of 40 feet (12 m) and a crown spread of 30 feet (9 m). Active
Florida Tallahassee Incentive Cool Roofs Energy Efficiency Loans City of Tallahassee – Tallahassee offers loan programs for residential home or commercial upgrades to more energy efficient practices. One of these upgrades is for the installation of a reflective roof. The programs offer $500 to $20,000 for these loans, depending on the residents’ needs. The terms of the loan are for 5 years at 5% annual interest and a 1% processing fee, with no penalty for early payoff. There are no income requirements; residents only need to have 12 months of account history. Active
Hawaii Honolulu Tree and Landscape Ordinance Trees and Vegetation See Section 21-4.70 (PDF) Honolulu Parking Lot Shade Ordinance – The Honolulu Land Use Ordinance requires that parking lots within the city be landscaped or screened. Depending on the size of the parking lot, a tree canopy may also be required. Active
Illinois Chicago Building Code Cool Roofs Chicago Energy Conservation Code Introduction Chicago Energy Conservation Code – Chicago's energy code contains a section on "Urban Heat Island Provisions," which sets out requirements for both solar reflectance and emissivity for low and medium sloped roofs. As of December 31, 2008, contractors must use roofing products that meet or exceed the minimum criteria to qualify for an ENERGY STAR label. Active
Illinois Chicago Demonstration Project; Procurement Green Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool Pavements Green Alleys Chicago Green Alleys – After the success of a demonstration project using permeable pavement, Chicago began a Green Alley initiative to use permeable pavement any time it needs to repave an alley. Through 2010, more than 100 Green Alleys had been installed and ultimately, almost 2,000 miles of alleyways will be made permeable. The Green Alley Handbook notes that "if all the alleys had a light, reflective surface (high albedo) that reflected heat energy, [they would stay] cool on hot days and thereby reducing the "urban heat island effect." The handbook also mentions the heat island reduction benefits of shade trees and green roofs. Completed
Illinois Chicago Demonstration Project Green Roofs City Hall Rooftop Garden Chicago's City Hall – Chicago installed a green roof on its city hall in 2000 that includes 20,000 plants, shrubs, grasses, vines, and trees. This 20,300-square-foot roof is about 100 degrees cooler than nearby roofs. The city has saved about $5,000 in energy costs annually, and savings may increase as energy prices fluctuate. In addition to assessing energy impacts, the green roof has been designed to test different types of rooftop garden systems, success rates of native and non-native vegetation, and reductions in stormwater runoff. This city hall green roof has helped to raise the visibility and increase public understanding of green roofs. Chicago's Department of Environment staff has frequently given presentations about the roof, which has won numerous awards. Completed
Illinois Chicago Research; Outreach and Education Program; Incentive Green Roofs Chicago Sustainable Development Policy (PDF) Chicago Green Roof Program – Chicago's Department of the Environment has launched one of the strongest green roof efforts in the United States. Through this program the city has been constructing green roofs on public buildings, doing research to estimate impacts from green roofs, providing grants to encourage green roof installations (see entry on Chicago Green Roof and Cool Roof Grants Programs), and educating the public about green roofs in general. Active
Illinois Chicago Tree and Landscape Ordinance Trees and Vegetation Landscape Ordinance Chicago Landscape Ordinance – Chicago has a landscape ordinance that requires planting trees or shrubs on parkways and landscaping parking lots, loading docks, and other vehicular use areas, both within the sites themselves and to screen their perimeter. The ordinance applies to most new building construction, as well as repairs, remodeling, and enlargements of a particular size and cost. The Bureau of Forestry, which maintains the standards, must inspect and approve all parkway vegetation prior to planting. The Chicago Department of Zoning reviews all building and zoning permit applications to ensure compliance with the ordinance. Active
Illinois Chicago Urban Forestry Program; Tree and Landscape Ordinance Trees and Vegetation Landscaped Medians Chicago Landscaped Medians Program – Chicago has more than 65 miles of landscaped medians on arterial streets throughout the city. The Chicago Transportation Department plants trees and other vegetation in medians to reduce the urban heat island effect as well as to provide scenic landscaping. Active
Illinois Evanston Comprehensive Plan and Design Guidelines Cool Pavements Design Guidelines for Planned Developments (PDF) City of Evanston Design Guidelines for Planned Developments – Evanston includes permeable pavements in its assessment of green buildings. Active
Louisiana Baton Rouge Tree and Landscape Ordinance Trees and Vegetation Chapter 18 Landscape and Trees (PDF) Baton Rouge Landscape and Trees Ordinance – In 2007, the City of Baton Rouge strengthened its landscape ordinance, which requires tree planting on all new developments, excluding single-family residences. The ordinance requires two shade trees for every 5,000 square feet of site, and one shade tree per 600 square feet of street frontage. Parking lot requirements include one shade tree per 15 parking spaces for a lot with one to 25 spaces; one shade tree per 12 parking spaces for a lot with 25 to 100 spaces; and one shade tree per 10 parking spaces for a lot over 100 spaces. For example, a 10,000-square-foot site with 600 square feet of storefront and 150 parking spaces would require 20 shade trees (i.e., four for the square footage of the site, one for the store frontage, and 15 for the parking lot). Active
Maryland Annapolis Incentive; Urban Forestry Program; Green Building Program and Standards; Tree and Landscape Ordinance; Resolution; Outreach and Education Program Trees and Vegetation See Chapter 17.14 Annapolis Energy Efficiency Resolution – In October 2006, Annapolis adopted a comprehensive energy efficiency resolution that included general goals and specific long-term targets for adopting a range of energy efficiency measures. One recommendation was to increase tree shading so that the city could sequester carbon dioxide, reduce the urban heat island effect, and lower ozone levels. In 2007, the city adopted a new tree protection ordinance as one step to protecting existing shade trees. This resolution also proposed green building goals, including adopting green building standards for public buildings, investigating incentives for green building construction, and developing an outreach and education program for the building community and government staff. The resolution also proposes increasing the urban forest canopy to 50% of the city’s land area by 2036. Active
Maryland Annapolis Tree and Landscape Ordinance Trees and Vegetation See Chapter 17.09 Annapolis Ordinance on Trees in Development Areas – Annapolis has explicitly recognized the environmental value of trees and acted to protect them during construction by adopting a tree protection ordinance that requires a survey of trees on a proposed development site and fences or other means to mark and protect designated trees during construction. The ordinance also prohibits certain activities, such as trenching or grading, within the drip line of trees unless specific precautions are followed. Active
Maryland Baltimore Comprehensive Plan and Design Guidelines Cool Roofs, Green Roofs City of Baltimore Climate Action Plan Baltimore Climate Action Plan – The action plan promotes cool and green roof technology, with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 7,000 metric tons, and achieving a 30% participation rate from commercial buildings and residential buildings, respectively, by 2020. Active
Maryland Montgomery Incentive Green Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool Pavements Montgomery RainScapes Program Montgomery RainScapes Rewards Rebate Program – The program offers financial incentives to property owners who implement measures to reduce stormwater pollution. There are nine measures that individuals can apply for, five of which have a heat island mitigation focus: rain gardens, increased urban tree canopy, incorporation of permeable pavers, pavement removal, and green roof installation. Active
Massachusetts Boston Building Standard / Energy Code; Green Building Program and Standards Cool Roofs; Green Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool Pavements Boston Green Building Zoning Code Green Building Zoning Code – Boston is decreasing carbon emissions associated with energy use in privately owned and operated buildings by implementing a Green Building Zoning Code. The zoning code requires all major construction projects greater than 50,000 square feet to adhere to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification standards. Two of the points for this certification can be obtained by using urban heat island reduction strategies, one point coming from cool or green roofs and the other from non-roof strategies. Active
Michigan Ann Arbor Urban Forestry Program Trees and Vegetation Ann Arbor Urban Forestry Plan Ann Arbor Urban Forestry Plan – Ann Arbor’s first comprehensive plan for managing the city’s urban forest has been given approval by the city council. The plan includes recommendations such as implementing proactive tree maintenance, developing street tree master plans, and implementing community outreach programs. Active
Nebraska Omaha Demonstration Project Trees and Vegetation Green Streets Omaha Green Streets Initiative – The Green Streets Initiative seeks to enhance urban vegetation and tree canopies in order to realize a range of benefits, such as stormwater management and aesthetics. Active
New Jersey Elizabeth Urban Forestry Program; Outreach and Education Program Trees and Vegetation Groundwork Elizabeth Groundwork Elizabeth – Groundwork Elizabeth works to involve neighborhood residents in community revitalization projects, including tree planting at local schools and parks. The organization was instrumental in getting the city of Elizabeth involved in New Jersey's Cool Cities Initiative, which aims to plant trees primarily in the large cities of New Jersey with low tree coverage. Active
New York Bronx, NYC Research; Demonstration Project Trees and Vegetation NYSERDA Environmental Justice Interagency Taskforce Action Agenda (PDF) Greening the Bronx – The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and New York City worked with horticulture students to undertake a borough-wide tree planting program. NYSERDA led research and the first half of the planting demonstration to identify species and site selection that would maximize the ability to decrease electricity needs in the borough. Completed
New York New York City Building Standard / Energy Code Cool Roofs NYC CoolRoofs NYC CoolRoofs – In 2008 New York City put into place a building code that requires most new buildings to have 75% of the roof area covered with a reflective, white coating, or to be ENERGY STAR rated as highly reflective. Starting from January 2012, existing buildings that replace or renovate 50% or more are also required to add reflective materials to their rooftop. The CoolRoofs program addresses roofs on buildings that were built before the mandated code took effect. To date 3,000 volunteers have coated 2.6 million square feet of rooftops throughout the city. This program helps save money, preserve roof structure and cooling equipment, reduce energy use, reduce carbon emissions, and combat the urban heat island effect. Active
New York New York City Tax Incentive Green Roofs Property Tax Abatement Provisions New York Property Tax Abatement Provision – New York City has amended its property tax abatement incentive for green roofs. The amendment expands the definition of a green roof, slightly increases the value of the tax abatement, and extends the application deadline by five years, to March 15, 2018. Active
New York New York City Tax Incentive Green Roofs New York City Green Infrastructure Grant New York City Green Infrastructure Grant – The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging community groups, nonprofits, and property owners to apply for $6 million in funding made available in 2014 for green infrastructure projects. Ideal projects would absorb rainwater to prevent sewer overflows into waterways. Active
New York Saratoga Springs Urban Forestry Program Trees and Vegetation Urban Forest Project Urban Forest Project – Sustainable Saratoga, a nonprofit organization, has been partnering with the City of Saratoga Springs to organize a volunteer effort to inventory the city’s street and park trees. The inventory will be used to develop an Urban Forest Master Plan, which will guide development and cultivation of the city’s street trees. Active
New York Statewide Urban Forestry Program Trees and Vegetation NYS DEC Urban Forestry Grant Announcement Urban Forestry Grants – Urban forestry grants totaling $2.24 million were awarded to communities and organizations across New York, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced in November 2018. The New York State Urban and Community Forestry Program provides technical assistance to communities through local DEC Urban Foresters and ReLeaf volunteers. Financial assistance is available from the state through competitive cost-share grants. The grants were awarded to 54 cities, villages, towns, and nonprofits across the state. Active
North Carolina Raleigh Research Cool Pavements Permeable Pavement Research
Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavements
North Carolina State University Permeable Pavement Research – North Carolina State University has an active permeable pavement research program, as well as a specialized collaborative effort with the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) and the Low Impact Development Center on permeable interlocking concrete pavements. Active
Ohio Cincinnati Incentive Green Roofs Green Roof Loans Green Roof Loans – The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) of Greater Cincinnati, and the Cincinnati Office of Environmental Quality have made $5 million available for loans to install green roofs within the service area of the MSD. Green roofs will help reduce sewer overflows and improve air quality in the region. Active
Ohio Cincinnati Green Building Program and Standards; Resolution; Comprehensive Plan and Design Guidelines Cool Roofs; Green Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool Pavements Green Cincinnati Plan Green Cincinnati Plan – The Green Cincinnati Plan, originally adopted in 2008, was updated in 2013. The updated plan goes beyond looking at financial savings from environmental improvements by emphasizing the impacts of sustainability measures on public health. The plan also recommends deployment of cool roofs on new construction, and incentivizes green roofs with expedited permitting. Active
Oklahoma Edmond Demonstration Project Trees and Vegetation Edmond Arbor Week Celebration City of Edmond Arbor Week Celebration – Edmond celebrated Oklahoma Arbor Week by planting trees throughout the city for enhanced aesthetics and air quality, erosion prevention, and energy savings. Completed
Oregon Portland Zoning Code; Building Code Green Roofs Chapter 33.510 (PDF) Central City Plan District Zoning Code – In 2001, Portland modified its zoning code to include an "eco-roof development bonus" for developers to install green roofs (which are called "eco-roofs" in the code). In Title 33 of the Zoning Code there is a floor area ratio bonus for projects that install green roofs in Portland's central district. The bonus amount depends on the extent of the green roof coverage. If the green roof covers 60% or more of the roof surface, developers can build an additional three square feet (0.3 m2) for each square foot of green roof. If the green roof covers a lower percent of the surface, the bonus is reduced. Active
Pennsylvania Philadelphia Building Codes Cool Roofs City of Philadelphia Cool Roof Ordinance (PDF) City of Philadelphia Cool Roof Ordinance – In May 2010, the City of Philadelphia enacted legislation requiring all new construction in the city to use white roof coverings or those that are rated by ENERGY STAR as highly reflective. The law exempts certain projects, including vegetative roofs and those with rooftop photovoltaic and solar thermal equipment. Active
Texas Austin Green Building Program and Standards; Resolution; Comprehensive Plan and Design Guidelines Cool Roofs; Green Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool Pavements Austin Functional Green - Land Development Code - Urban Heat Island Initiatives (PDF)
City of Austin Cool Spaces Strategies
Austin Climate Protection Plan (PDF)
Austin Heat Island Mitigation – In May 2001, the Austin City Council adopted a heat island mitigation resolution that committed the city manager to review recommendations for a variety of activities to diminish the city's heat island. In September of that year, the City Council awarded $1 million toward implementing the recommendations, which ranged from developing a cool roof strategy to increasing enforcement of the city's tree-saving ordinance. Austin's Climate Protection Plan incorporates heat island reduction through its green building and energy efficiency elements. Active
Texas Austin Green Building Program and Standards Cool Roofs; Cool Pavements Austin Energy Green Building
Pedernales Loft
The Pedernales Lofts – The Pedernales Lofts is the first multi-family development in Austin to receive five stars on the Green Building Multi-Family Rating. The rating system allows for one point if a heat island reduction strategy is used. The Pedernales Lofts used reflective roofing and pervious pavements, and was built on a former industrial brownfield. It also received S.M.A.R.T. Housing fee waivers (S.M.A.R.T. Housing rules ensure homes are Safe, Mixed-income, Accessible, Reasonably priced, and Transit-oriented). Completed
Texas Austin Incentive Cool Roofs Multifamily Rebate
Commercial Rebate
Austin Energy Efficiency Rebates – Austin Energy offers 15-cent-per-square-foot rebates for cool roof retrofits. Customers must use cool roof products that have a minimum reflectivity of 75%. Active
Texas Austin Urban Forestry Program Trees and Vegetation TreeFolks TreeFolks – Started in 1989, TreeFolks directs many programs that help to grow the urban forests of Central Texas. One program in particular, NeighborWoods, began delivering free street trees in 2004 with a goal of reducing heat islands. NeighborWoods evaluates neighborhoods during summer and fall and marks areas that are available for tree planting. Residents who commit to planting and watering the tree for two years can reserve their tree on the website or by mail. The trees are delivered, with planting and watering instructions, between October and March. The program reduces the urban heat island effect by shading paved streets, and it helps residents increase their property values while decreasing their energy bills. Active
Texas Austin Urban Forestry Program Urban Forest Master Plan Austin Master Plan Austin Master Forestry Plan – Austin adopted an Urban Forest Master Plan with guidelines that city departments should address, including protecting trees during development, creating tree canopy cover goals, and recycling green waste. Active
Texas Dallas Green Building Program and Standards Cool Roofs See Item #3 (PDF) Dallas Green Building Program Ordinance – Dallas passed this ordinance to establish a green building program. The program will consist of two phases; the first phase is focused on energy efficiency, water conservation and reduction of the heat island effect through cool roofs, and phase two will expand phase one to implement a comprehensive green building standard for all new construction. For new proposed commercial projects affecting less than 50,000 square feet of floor area, the requirements include energy efficiency, water conservation, cool roof requirements for low-slope roofs, and an outdoor lighting restriction. Active
Texas Dallas Urban Forestry Program Trees and Vegetation Adopt-a-Median Adopt-a-Median Tree Planting Program – Overseen by the Urban Forest Advisory Committee and the Dallas Streets Department, this program aims to encourage more tree plantings in street medians to reduce the urban heat island effect. Adopt-a-Median allows groups to take responsibility of tree planting and maintenance of the median. Groups can either self-fund tree plantings, or by complying with city regulations, obtain funding from the Street Department’s MOWmentum fund, or the city’s Reforestation Fund. Active
Texas Houston Building Code Cool Roofs Cool Roof Guidelines (PDF) City of Houston Commercial Energy Conservation Code – Houston created this energy conservation code to provide requirements for the design and construction of new buildings. Cool roof requirements are included for new buildings. The code requires low slope roofs up to 2:12 to be covered with a surface that has a minimum solar reflectance of 0.70 and a minimum thermal emittance of 0.75. Active
Texas Houston Outreach and Education Trees and Vegetation Houston Urban Forestry Event Tree Planting Competition – Northwest Harris County gained more than 1,000 new trees during the Houston Area Urban Forestry Council's 2014 Tree Planting Competition. The contest is designed to help educate people on proper ways to plant trees and on the benefits of urban forestry for the community. Complete
Texas San Antonio Tree and Landscape Ordinance Trees and Vegetation San Antonio Ordinance (PDF) San Antonio Tree Preservation Ordinance – San Antonio requires different levels of tree protection based on tree class and location. The ordinance classifies significant trees, heritage trees, and trees within the 100-year floodplain. For example, heritage trees―defined, for most species, as trees 24 inches (60 cm) or greater in diameter at breast height―must be preserved. The ordinance, however, generally counts total tree diameter-inches at a site, not individual trees, and gives flexibility in preservation: up to 90% of the tree-diameter-inches can be considered preserved if the developer plants an equal or greater number of tree-diameter-inches elsewhere. Developers can also fulfill the preservation requirement by contributing to the city's tree fund. Active
Texas Taylor Tree and Landscape Ordinance Trees and Vegetation Click on Ordinances, and then Landscape Ordinance Landscape Ordinance for Taylor, Texas – Taylor requires that all outdoor parking areas having spaces for more than twenty vehicles have landscaping within the perimeter of the parking area equal in area to not less than 5% of the total paved area. Further, no parking space is to be located more than seventy feet from a portion of the required landscaping, and one tree of at least two inch caliper in size will be provided within the perimeter of the parking area for each two hundred fifty square feet of landscaping required. Active
Utah Highland Comprehensive Plan and Design Guidelines Trees and Vegetation General Plan Update 2008, Chapter 7: Community Design Highland City General Plan – Highland created a master plan for a 50-acre (200,000 m2) overlay zone to be privately developed as a town center. The city design guidelines for the zone recommended several heat island mitigation elements, including reflective roofing, reflective parking lot surfaces, and landscaping. These guidelines were then adopted into the zoning requirements for the town center. Active
Washington Seattle Zoning Code Green Roofs; Trees and Vegetation Department of Planning and Development – Green Factor Seattle Green Factor – Seattle adopted minimum landscaping requirements in 2007, known as the Seattle Green Factor, which require that certain new developments in neighborhood business districts must provide for vegetative cover on the equivalent of 30% of the applicable property. The regulations apply to developments with more than four dwelling units, more than 4,000 square feet (370 m2) of commercial uses, or more than 20 new parking spaces. Developers can use a menu of strategies, including planting new trees, preserving trees, and installing green roofs and green walls to meet this target. The regulations are part of the city's Commercial Code and encourage planting of layers of vegetation and larger trees in areas visible to the public. The rules also include bonuses for harvesting rain water and choosing plants that need less water. The city has developed a worksheet to help applicants calculate a "score" that indicates whether various mixes of landscaping measures meet the requirements, which will allow developers to try different combinations of features. Active