Cities Research Seminar Series: The Worldwide Challenge and Opportunity of Excess Urban Heat

A seminar led by Kurt Shickman of the Global Cool Cities Alliance on efforts to reduce excess urban heat.

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.

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Speaker: Kurt Shickman

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. Kurt co-manages the Cool Cities Network, a group of 25 global cities working to address urban heat challenges, in partnership with C40. The Network facilitates peer-to-peer exchanges and serves as a link to the community of experts working on various aspects of urban heat.  He has served on the New York City Working Group for Urban Heat, on the Advisory Panel for Sustainable Energy for All's Cooling for All initiative, and the Clean Energy Ministerial.

Prior to joining GCCA, Kurt was the Director of Research for the Energy Future Coalition and the United Nations Foundation’s Energy and Climate team.

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