site.btaGovernment, Municipal Officials, Experts Discuss Options to Reduce Urban Heat Islands Effects

Government, Municipal Officials, Experts Discuss Options to Reduce Urban Heat Islands Effects
Government, Municipal Officials, Experts Discuss Options to Reduce Urban Heat Islands Effects
BTA Photo

Opportunities for reducing the effects of urban heat islands were discussed at an international conference organized on Friday by the Sofia Development Association (SDA) within the framework of the Interreg Danube BeReady project, which involves a consortium of 19 partners from 12 countries in the Danube region. Environment and Water Minister Julian Popov, Deputy Regional Development and Public Works Minister Angelina Boneva, Sofia Deputy Mayor on Green System, Ecology and Land Use Nadezhda Bobcheva, among other experts participated in the event.

The attendees commented that different European projects include measures to reduce the negative effects of climate change. They agreed that cities should use green spaces to combat climate change and more of them should be created.

Addressing the conference, Popov stressed that such a topic of discussion is important because urban heat islands impact people's lives and their health. He warned that people should think very seriously about adaptation to climate change. That includes rebuilding the urban environment and combating urban heat islands. Energy efficiency of buildings is the best weapon against urban heat, he underscored.

Popov and Bobcheva agreed that the creation of green roofs or green terraces is one of the steps to be taken for a more sustainable urban environment. In 2019, actions have been taken to identify urban heat islands. The Lyulin and Nadezhda boroughs have been identified as problem areas, while in downtown Sofia there are large green spaces such as the Zaimov park and the Borisova Garden park, Bobcheva said.

Lidiya Vitanova of the Gate Institute and the St Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia listed some of the factors for the formation of urban heat islands - human-generated heat, energy consumption, traffic growth, reduction of urban spaces and parks, poor urban planning, as well as overpopulation.

Sevdalina Voynova of SDA told BTA that urban heat islands are mostly highly urbanized areas where the temperature is two to three degrees higher than the temperature in surrounding neighborhoods. Usually these are places that are heavily built up with squares, parking lots that lack greenery. For example, high-rise buildings stop air circulation, reducing wind speed and suspending the cooling process, she explained. Dealing with urban heat islands through afforestation is another step to address the problem, Voynova also said.

/RY/

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By 18:44 on 19.04.2024 Today`s news

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