A study from The Nature Conservancy and AECOM makes an economic case for planning and implementing measures to counter urban heat.
According to the study, failing to adopt measures like widespread tree planning and cool roof installation could generate additional costs in terms of lives lost up to an average of $1.5B by 2050.
It also predicts temperatures warmer by an average of three-to-five degrees will take 0.5% off the area’s economic output in the same period.
Earlier this year, Phoenix opened the Office of Heat Response & Mitigation, one of the first city heat mitigation offices in the country. One goal is to increase the city’s tree canopy coverage to 25% over the next 10 years. The current coverage rate is approximately 13%. The office also promotes installing reflective roofing and pavement.
The cost to reach 25% canopy coverage is projected at $4B and putting reflective materials on every roof would cost another $1.5B, according to estimates. However, savings in terms of reduced deaths, hospital visits, lost productivity and other factors are projected to yield $15B from tree canopy expansion and $7.9B from roof materials. (Source)