Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Heat Island Effect

Initiative Types by State & Locality

State - LocalityInitiative TypeMitigation StrategyLink Exit EPATitle & DescriptionDate
Arizona - GilbertComprehensive Plan and Design GuidelinesCool Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsChapter 7 - Environmental Planning Element, Goal 14 (PDF)

Cool Pavements Brochure
Gilbert General Plan - The "Environmental Planning Element" in the Gilbert, Arizona general plan lists mitigating heat islands as a core goal. Specific policies under the goal include: 1) developing criteria to evaluate development projects that contribute to the heat island effect and identify mitigation techniques; 2) seeking partnerships with other municipalities, educational institutions, utility companies, government entities, and other to promote heat island awareness among landowners, developers, engineers, and architects; 3) encouraging design concepts utilizing planned and engineered green space and urban forestry to maximize shading of paved areas and buildings; 4) promoting education and awareness of the public, designers and applicants for the development and use of materials and construction techniques to help mitigate the urban heat island effect; and 5) providing for a reduction of the stormwater retention requirements where a grading and drainage report demonstrates a reduced stormwater storage capacity results from the use of pervious pavements on a site. One step in implementing the plan involved the development of a brochure on the use of cool pavements to reduce the urban heat island effect.Active
Arizona - PhoenixResearch; Outreach and Education ProgramCool Roofs; Cool PavementsASU SMARTArizona 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 an effort to support urbanization in a more sustainable manner. SMART researchers are developing the next generation of urban materials that aid in the mitigation of the urban heat island, reduce energy demand for mechanical cooling, and incorporate feedstocks diverted from waste streams.Active
Arizona - TucsonDemonstration ProjectCool Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsCool Retrofit - Thomas O. Price Service CenterCity of Tucson's Administration Building - A demonstration project for the City of Tucson documented how a cool roof reduced temperatures inside and on the roof of the building and saved more than 400 million Btu annually in energy. A white elastomeric coating was installed over a 28,000-square foot (2,600 m2), unshaded metal roof on one of the city's administration buildings. Following the installation, energy savings were calculated at 50 to 65% of the building's cooling energy – an avoided energy cost of nearly $4,000 annually. In addition to measuring the effects of adding a cool roof, the project will also investigate cooler paving materials and more trees and vegetation in the parking lots surrounding the building.Completed
Arizona - TucsonUrban Forestry ProgramTrees and VegetationTrees for TucsonUrban Forestry Program - Trees for Tucson began in 1989 as a program of Tucson Clean & Beautiful to encourage and facilitate tree planting in the Tucson metropolitan area using desert-adapted trees. The program is providing multiple benefits to the city, including higher energy efficiency, reductions in carbon and air pollutant emissions, improved stormwater management, wildlife habitats, and soil conservation. Nearly 70,000 trees have been distributed through the program since 1993.Active
California - BerkeleyClimate Action PlanCool RoofsCity of Berkeley Climate Action Plan (PDF)Cool Roofs - As part of the city's Climate Action Plan, Berkeley will consider requiring the installation of a cool roof anytime a commercial building is built or re-roofed. Cool roofs can achieve a solar reflectance of 70-80%, compared to 10-20% for a typical roof.Active
California - Chula VistaBuilding Standard / Energy Code; Green Building Program and Standards; Tree and Landscape Ordinance; Demonstration ProjectCool Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsClimate Change Working Group – Climate Action PlanningBuilding Code; Demonstration Project; Green Building Program and Standards; Tree and Landscape Ordinance - The City of Chula Vista has identified 11 climate adaptation strategies, three of which directly address urban heat islands: they include 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. It is also working to amend its green building standards code to require cool roofs on all new residential developments, as well as 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 - DavisTree and Landscape OrdinanceTrees and VegetationChapter 37 of the City of Davis Municipal CodeDavis Landscaping Ordinance - The City of Davis requires that 50% of the paved parking lot surface of any building shall be shaded with tree canopies within 15 years of acquisition of a building permit. Specific guidelines for the development of such canopy 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 shall receive 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% shading credit based on their location relative to paved surfaces.Active
California - Los AngelesUrban Forestry ProgramTrees and VegetationMillion Trees LAMillion 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 also volunteer to help with community tree plantings.Active
California - MartinezBuilding Standard / Energy Code; Green Building Program and Standards; Tree and Landscape OrdinanceCool Roofs; Trees and VegetationThe City of Martinez Climate Action PlanMartinez Climate Action Plan - Martinez Climate Action Plan – The City of 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 - Menlo ParkClimate Action PlanTrees and VegetationCity of Menlo Park Climate Change Action Plan (PDF)Plant Trees - In Menlo Park's Climate Action Plan, the city has set a goal to plant 100 new trees per year. Properly planted trees will reflect sunlight and shade buildings, mitigating the urban heat island effect. The city also has a Heritage Tree Program and Street Tree Reforestation Project and the city maintains an arborist to provide tree management.Active
California - MercedDemonstration ProjectCool PavementsSJVAPCD's Healthy Air Living (PDF)Light Pavement - UC Merced has implemented a new parking lot that uses light pavement. Gravel aggregate is used for car parking spaces, which reduces heat absorption because it is a more reflective surface. Additionally, it is more permeable than asphalt, which reduces stormwater runoff.Completed
California - SacramentoAir Quality Requirement; Urban Forestry ProgramTrees and VegetationTrees and Air Quality

Strategic Tree Planting in Sacramento (PDF)
Urban Forests for Clean Air - In 2006, the Sacramento region secured a large Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program grant to support integration of urban forestry in its State Implementation Plan. The project, known as the Urban Forests for Clean Air demonstration project, involves the Sacramento Tree Foundation, the USDA Forest Service, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments and the Sacramento, El Dorado, and Placer and Feather River Air Districts. The project includes three phases: 1) initial estimates of the effects of the urban forest on air quality; 2) development of improved models to analyze these impacts; and 3) a final report on the findings. Under the first phase, the Forest Service's Center for Urban Forest Research estimated the impacts of trees on air quality using existing models and statistical analyses. That analysis predicted that one million additional trees could lower emissions of NOx by almost a quarter ton per day and particulate matter by over one ton per day. If trees that emit low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were chosen, ground-level ozone could also be reduced by 1.5 tons daily. The long-term goal for the project is to develop the technical support for a SIP revision that includes large-scale, urban tree planting as a ground-level ozone reduction control strategy for the Sacramento region.Active
California - SacramentoDemonstration ProjectCool PavementsPervious Concrete PavementsPermeable Parking Lot Demonstration - The Sacramento Cool Communities Program was a partner in a project to install a pervious concrete parking lot at Bannister Park in Fair Oaks in 2001 to enhance stormwater management and to reduce the urban heat-island effect. This parking lot is one of the first in the state to use this type of paving. Pervious concrete helps water infiltrate the soil by capturing rainwater in a network of voids and allowing it to percolate into the underlying soil. Pervious concrete can help reduce or eliminate the need for traditional stormwater management systems such as retention ponds and sewer tie-ins.Completed
California - SacramentoIncentive; Urban Forestry ProgramTrees and VegetationRebates - Shade TreesSacramento Shade - Since 1990, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has partnered 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 - SacramentoIncentiveCool RoofsRebates - Residential Cool RoofsCool Roof Rebate Program - The Sacramento Municipal Utility District offers rebates to residential customers who use cool roofing technologies. The utility offers a 20-cent-per-square-foot (0.09 m2) rebate to customers who own single-family, multi-family, or mobile homes with flat roofs and who install ENERGY STARŪ cool roof products. The rebate for sloped roofs is 10 cents per square foot. Under this program, a single family would earn a $300 rebate for incorporating a cool roof, and save an estimated $50 per year on their annual cooling bill.Active
California - SacramentoTree and Landscape OrdinanceTrees and VegetationSection 17.68.040 Tree Shading Requirements for Parking LotsSacramento 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 DiegoClimate Action PlanTrees and VegetationExecutive Summary for the Climate Protection Action Plan (PDF)San Diego Climate Protection Action Plan - The City of 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 FranciscoResearch; Outreach and Education ProgramHeat Vulnerability IndexSan Francisco's Climate and Health Program (PDF)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 ValleyResearchCool Roofs; Cool PavementsProvidence Engineering StudyEvaluation 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 of these urban-scale changes using cost data for various construction materials.Completed
California - San JoseGreen Building Program and StandardsTrees and VegetationGreen Building PolicySan Jose Green Building Policy - The City of San Jose, California, includes landscape design for heat island mitigation as one of the goals of its Green Building Policy, adopted in 2001. The policy applies to planning, design, construction, management, renovation, operations, and demolition of facilities that are larger than 10,000 square feet and constructed, owned, managed, or financed by the city.Active
California - South Coast Air BasinUrban Forestry ProgramTrees and VegetationSCAQMD Projects

Complete List of Projects (PDF)
Support Urban Forest Management and Tree Planting - In 2006, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) funded a project led by the California Urban Forests Council to support urban forest management and tree planting. Expected benefits from the project include a mitigation of the urban heat island effect. The funds were awarded to SCAQMD from a settlement involving BP West Coast Products LLC for alleged violations at a refinery in Carson. A total of 18 projects, included the Urban Forest Management and Tree Planting project, were implemented by SCAQMD.Completed
California - StatewideBuilding CodeCool RoofsTitle 24, Part 6

2008 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. The simplest approach is to apply a cool roof that meets the minimum requirements. Another alternative is to use products that do not fully meet the cool roof criteria and then offset those reduced performance levels by implementing other measures, such as insulation and window improvements, that exceed minimum requirements. The third, and most flexible option, is to use whatever methods are deemed practicable as long as the code's specific performance goal is reached; in this scenario, the building owner creates a model of all the characteristics that affect the energy consumption of the building to determine the mix of measures that will meet the code criteria. The California Energy Commission provides computer software for this compliance option. California began the process of updating Title 24 in late 2005, with final revised standards due in 2008. As part of this update, California is investigating extending cool roof requirements to the steep-sloped market.Active
California - StatewideGreen Building Program and StandardsCool PavementsAB 296 Bill AnalysisAB 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 would also be 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 would be 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 would be 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 - StatewideGreen Building Program and StandardsCool Roofs; Green Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsCALGreen (PDF)California Green Building Standards Code - The 2010 California Green Building Standards Code, referred to as CALGreen, went into effect on January 1, 2011. The Code covers residential and commercial buildings, and provides 52 nonresidential mandatory measures and an additional 130 provisions for optional use. There are several voluntary measures that relate to heat island mitigation, including shading, cool pavement, and cool roof technologies.Active
California - StatewideIncentiveTrees and VegetationUrban Greening Grants ProgramUrban 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 - StatewideOutreach and Education ProgramCool Roofs; Green Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsCalifornia Department of Public Health (PDF)

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 - StatewideOutreach and Education ProgramTrees and VegetationCalifornia 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 - StatewideUrban Forestry Program; Demonstration ProjectGreen Roofs; Trees and VegetationCalifornia Urban and Community ForestryCalifornia 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, non-profits, 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 non-profits can apply for grants from the program; eligible projects include non-traditional urban forestry initiatives such as green roofs. In Fiscal Year 2009/2010, the program funded a green roof project in San Diego.Active
California - Statewide/Alameda CountyResearch; Outreach and Education ProgramHeat Vulnerability IndexPublic Health Vulnerabilities to Climate Change and Mapping Risk (PDF)Vulnerabilities to Heat - The California Department of Public Health has 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, 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.Active
California - VisaliaTree and Landscape OrdinanceTrees and VegetationCity of VisaliaStreet Tree Ordinance - Visalia requires trees along main roadways and medians and has tree planting requirements on residential and commercial development streets.Active
California - WindsorGreen Building Program and StandardsCool RoofsGreen Building OrdinanceGreen Building Ordinance - The Green Building Ordinance in Windsor, CA 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
Colorado - DenverUrban Forestry ProgramTrees and VegetationThe Mile High MillionThe Mile High Million - Denver, Colorado aims to plant one million trees in the metro area by 2025. The initiative engages individuals, neighborhood associations, schools, nonprofits, and businesses through multiple tree-planting programs. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy-funded Trees for Energy Savings program will strategically plant 4,600 trees to shade homes and other structures to reduce energy use and lower energy bills for residents. Other programs include enlisting the help of partner organizations, educating students, and training community foresters. Other benefits of The Mile High Million include mitigation of the urban heat island effect, reduced stormwater runoff, and improved air quality.Active
District of Columbia - WashingtonComprehensive Plan and Design Guidelines; Air Quality RequirementTrees and VegetationPlan 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 - WashingtonDemonstration ProjectGreen RoofsCourt 5 Green RoofUSDA South Building Court 5 Green Roof - This 3,500 square foot green roof followed the installation of a 500 gallon cistern that catches runoff from an adjacent roof and provides irrigation for the new green roof. The green roof reduces the urban heat island effect, is more aesthetically pleasing than conventional roofs, and manages stormwater runoff that is entering local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.Completed
District of Columbia - WashingtonIncentiveGreen RoofsGreen RoofsDC's Unified Green Roof Rebate Program - The program provides base funding of $5 per square foot for a green roof, with a cap of 5,000 square feet. 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 - WashingtonUrban Forestry ProgramTrees and VegetationDistrict Urban Forestry Program

D.C. Tree Planting Underway
Urban Forestry Program - From November 2012 to May 2013, the District of Columbia Department of Transportation's Urban Forestry Administration is planting 6,400 trees across D.C. 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.Active
Florida - Cocoa BeachDemonstration ProjectCool RoofsProfile of Success (PDF)Our Savior's Elementary School - Our Savior's Elementary School in Cocoa Beach participated in a study conducted by the Florida Solar Energy Center. The school applied a simple white acrylic coating to its 12,000-square foot roof. As a result, the reflectivity of the roof increased from 23% to 68%. Despite being an energy-efficient building, adding the roof coating reduced annual energy consumption by approximately 13,000 kWh and average electricity power demand to decline by 10%. Additionally, peak electric power demand fell by 35%. The roof coating saved the school approximately $850 per year and increased student and employee comfort.Completed
Florida - Miami-Dade CountyTree and Landscape OrdinanceTrees and VegetationSee Chapter 18AMiami-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 CountyUrban Forestry Program; Tree and Landscape OrdinanceTrees and VegetationMillion TREES MiamiMillion TREES Miami (MTM) - MTM is a communitywide 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 - OrlandoTree and Landscape OrdinanceTrees and VegetationSee Section 61.226 Street TreesCode of the City of Orlando - Orlando, Florida, 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 - Port St. LucieDemonstration ProjectCool RoofsOxbow Eco-CenterOxbow Eco-center - The Oxbow Eco-Center is an environmental learning center that was constructed using green building technologies and is a model for sustainability. The building was and was painted with light-colored or reflective paints and built using recycled and recyclable materials. The floors were built from salvaged pine trees from the St. Johns River, and a cistern system was installed to catch rainwater to flush the toilets.Active
Florida - StatewideBuilding CodeCool RoofsChapter 13 Energy Efficiency (PDF)2007 Florida Building Code - Florida gives cool roofs credit in its building energy code. Buildings using a roof with 70% minimum solar reflectance and 75% minimum thermal emittance are eligible to reduce the amount of insulation needed to meet building efficiency standards, as long as a radiant barrier is not also installed in the roof plenum or attic space.Active
Florida - StatewideIncentiveCool RoofsFlorida Power and Light Energy Notes (PDF)Florida Power and Light Cool Roof Incentive (Commercial Program) - Florida Power and Light offers rebates of 10 to 25 cents per square foot to customers who insulate their roof with spray polyurethane foam (over air conditioned space) and another 15 cents per square foot if a cool coating is applied. Florida Power and Light estimates that cool coating can reduce cooling costs by 5 to 10%.Active
Florida - StatewideIncentiveCool RoofsResidential Building Envelope - Trade Ally Standards (PDF)Florida Building Code Cool Roof Credit (Residential Program) - Florida Power and Light offers customers a 10 cent per square foot rebate for reflective roofs (either metal or tile with 65% or 73% solar reflectance respectively). The program applies only to existing dwellings with whole house electric heating or air conditioning. This initiative is designed to encourage energy conservation.Active
Florida - TallahasseeIncentiveCool RoofsResidential Loan Handbook – City of Tallahassee Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program (PDF)The City of Tallahassee - The City of 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
Georgia - AtlantaDemonstration ProjectCool PavementsCool PavementsAtlanta Pervious Pavement Demonstration - A porous concrete parking lot was constructed in downtown Atlanta at the corner of Pryor and Memorial and was dedicated by the mayor of Atlanta on June 6, 2002.Completed
Georgia - AtlantaDemonstration ProjectGreen RoofsFrances Bunzl Administration Center Green RoofFrances Bunzl Administration Center Green Roof - The green roof on top of the High Museum of Art’s Frances Bunzl Administration Center was completed in April, 2008. It will help to mitigate the urban heat island effect, reduce energy consumption, and improve air quality in downtown Atlanta. The roof was financed partially through a Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant from U.S. EPA, which is awarded to projects that address non-point source pollution through strategies such as stormwater management. This modular green roof will be able to retain about 70% of total rainfall, or 62,000 gallons of stormwater per year. The project also allowed the Savannah College of Art and Design to take part in the plant selection and to film a documentary on the module installation.Completed
Georgia - AtlantaOutreach and Education ProgramCool Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsCool CommunitiesCool Communities Program - Cool Communities is a nonprofit program in Atlanta aimed at improving urban environments and conserving energy by promoting the use of lighter, reflective roofing and paving materials as well as planting shade trees.Active
Georgia - ColumbusUrban Forestry ProgramTrees and VegetationColumbus Heat Island Mitigation ProgramSpiderweb Project - The Spiderweb project is the first initiative of the Columbus Heat Island Mitigation Program. The project will convert an area of urban surfaces into a pleasant environment composed of seasonal vegetation and trees that will benefit the city beyond heat island mitigation. These benefits include improvements to the quality of air and water in the area.Active
Georgia - StatewideBuilding CodeCool RoofsSee Section 704 (PDF)Georgia Amendment to the 1995 CABO Model Energy Code with Georgia Supplements and Amendments - Georgia was the first state to add cool roofs to its energy code, in 1995. Georgia allows a reduced roof insulation level if a cool roof with a 75% minimum solar reflectance and 75% minimum thermal emittance is installed. Note that if the insulation level is reduced when a cool roof is used, there may be no net energy savings.Active
Hawaii - HonoluluTree and Landscape OrdinanceTrees and VegetationBill 43The Land Use Ordinance relating to the Chinatown Special District - Honolulu's Park Dedication Ordinance contains landscaping requirements within the urban redevelopment area of Chinatown. Small-scaled interior landscaped courtyards and interior pedestrian walkways are encouraged as well as interior pedestrian walkways. The ordinance states "Street trees should be provided, as needed, to complement adjoining development and minimize the intrusion of towers on Chinatown street scenes. Tree species, spacing and size shall be in accordance with the City's tree planting standards or as approved by the director."Active
Hawaii - HonoluluTree and Landscape OrdinanceTrees and VegetationSee 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 - ChicagoBuilding CodeCool RoofsChicago Energy Conservation CodeChicago 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. In January 2003, the City of Chicago amended its energy code to require roof installations on or prior to December 31, 2008, to meet a minimum solar reflectance of 0.25. The amendments apply to most air-conditioned buildings with low-sloped roofs. After December 31, 2008, contractors must use roofing products that meet or exceed the minimum criteria to qualify for an ENERGY STAR label.Active
Illinois - ChicagoDemonstration Project; ProcurementGreen Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsGreen Alleys

Green Alleys Handbook (PDF)
Chicago Green Alleys - Chicago, after the success of a demonstration project using permeable pavement, began a Green Alley initiative to use permeable pavement any time it needs to re-pave an alley. Through 2009, more than 100 Green Alleys have 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.Active
Illinois - ChicagoDemonstration ProjectCool PavementsPermeable AlleysCool Paving Demonstration Alley - In the fall of 2001, the Chicago Department of Environment reconstructed an asphalt alley using a permeable system. Using a porous gravel structure the city was able to eliminate formerly chronic flooding without using the sewer system, while reducing the heat island effect by eliminating dark, heat absorbing surfaces. This paving can absorb 3 inches of rainfall per hour, allowing rainwater to soak into the ground and reducing polluted runoff and flooding.Completed
Illinois - ChicagoDemonstration ProjectGreen RoofsCity Hall Rooftop GardenChicago's City Hall - The City of Chicago installed a green roof on its city hall 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 - ChicagoIncentiveCool Roofs; Green RoofsGreen Roof & Cool Roof Grants ProgramsChicago Roof Grants Programs - Chicago has established green and cool roof grant programs for residential and commercial buildings. In 2005, the first year of the green roof grants program, the city supported 20 green roof installation projects; in 2006, it helped fund 40. In the fall of 2007, the city announced that it was expanding the program to include cool roofs and expected to provide about 55 $6,000 grants.Completed
Illinois - ChicagoIncentiveTrees and VegetationChicago Sustainable Backyards Program

Cleaning the Urban Environment with ‘Sustainable Backyards’
Sustainable Backyards Program - The program provides rebates that reimburse citizens for up to 50 percent of the cost of installing trees, native plants, compost bins, and/or rain barrels. The program helps residents join the city in cooling heat islands, reducing stormwater pollution, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving air quality and public health.Active
Illinois - ChicagoResearch; Demonstration Project; Building Code; Outreach and Education ProgramCool Roofs; Green Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsChicago Department of EnvironmentChicago Urban Heat Island Mitigation Program - The City of Chicago's Department of the Environment has been involved with reducing urban heat islands for several years. Some projects Chicago has conducted include constructing a porous pavement alley, revising the city's building code to require cool roofs, and launching a green roof program.Active
Illinois - ChicagoResearch; Outreach and Education Program; IncentiveGreen RoofsGreen RoofsChicago Green Roof Program - The City of 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 - ChicagoTree and Landscape OrdinanceTrees and VegetationLandscape OrdinanceChicago 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 - ChicagoUrban Forestry Program; Tree and Landscape OrdinanceTrees and VegetationLandscaped MediansChicago 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 - EvanstonComprehensive Plan and Design GuidelinesCool PavementsDesign Guidelines for Planned Developments (PDF) City of Evanston Design Guidelines for Planned Developments - The City of Evanston, Illinois, includes permeable pavements in its assessment of green buildings.Active
Kansas - Kansas CityResearch; Demonstration Project; Outreach and Education ProgramTrees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsParking Lots to ParksParking Lots to Parks Project - The Kansas City Sustainable Skylines Program developed the Parking Lots to Parks Project which works to curb the urban heat island effect and reduce stormwater runoff through sustainable parking lot design in Kansas City. The project provides tools to assist communities with sustainable parking lot planning and in developing design standards.Active
Kansas - Kansas CityUrban Forestry Program; Demonstration Project; Tree and Landscape Ordinance; Outreach and Education Program; Air Quality RequirementCool Roofs; Green Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool Pavements Sustainable Skylines - Kansas Kansas City Sustainable Skylines Initiative - Sustainable Skylines is a locally-led, EPA-supported, public-private partnership to reduce air emissions and promote sustainability in urban environments. Greater Kansas City was chosen as one of the first pilot communities to implement the Sustainable Skylines program. Projects in Kansas City include: an idling-reduction campaign, water conservation and strategic landscaping projects, converting parking lots to parks, solar demonstration projects, a community forum, and a diesel engine retrofits partnership. Active
Kansas - LeawoodDemonstration ProjectCool PavementsGreen Parking Lots Case Studies - I'Lan Park (PDF)I'Lan Park Pervious Concrete Lot - This parking lot was constructed in order to examine how pervious pavements perform in the freeze/thaw cycles of the region. The pervious concrete allows stormwater to flow out of the parking lot when the aggregate and pervious concrete become inundated. This project serves as a test project demonstrating that pervious pavement is a viable alternative for the storage and treatment of stormwater in this region.Completed
Kansas - LenexaDemonstration ProjectCool PavementsGreen Parking Lots Case Studies - Lenexa Trailhead Porous Asphalt Lot (PDF)Lenexa Trailhead Porous Asphalt Lot - This porous asphalt parking lot was constructed to serve as the trailhead to the Coon Creek Trail in Lenexa. The porous asphalt helps with stormwater management as the material allows water to filter through the asphalt structure and into a gravel storage bed below. Water is held in the gravel and releases slowly into the soil below.Completed
Kansas - LenexaDemonstration ProjectTrees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsGreen Parking Lots Case Studies - Applebee's Support Center (PDF)Applebee's Support Center - The Applebee's Support Center incorporated a series of stormwater treatment features into the site. These include terraced, vegetated swales in the parking lots followed by sediment basins, a surface sand filter and a wetland immediately downstream. This combination of features treats the pavement runoff near the source, allowing oils, salts and sediments to be cleansed through onsite natural systems.Completed
Kansas - OlatheDemonstration ProjectTrees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsGreen Parking Lots Case Studies - Oregon Trail Park Renovation (PDF)Oregon Trail Park Renovation - The Oregon Trail Park features a pervious concrete parking lot utilizing pervious concrete and gravel below the pavement. The pervious concrete allows the drainage to filter down into the pavement, slowing down, cooling and filtering the water before discharging the stormwater into a nearby pond. The pond has been renovated into an extended wet-detention basin to provide stormwater cleansing to the adjacent 36 acres.Completed
Kentucky - Fort WrightOutreach and Education Program; Demonstration ProjectGreen RoofsStormwater Management Handbook-Implementing Green Infrastructure in Northern Kentucky Communities

Sanitation District No.1, Ft. Wright, Kentucky
Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky Green Roof - Sanitation District No. 1 decided to incorporate a green roof in the expansion of its facilities to manage the stormwater of three additional counties. The green roof reduces the urban heat island effect and enhances stormwater management. The facility uses both a conventional roof and a green roof to monitor the storm water benefits of green roof approaches. The green roof is also tied to the district’s educational program and provides a regional example of innovative stormwater practices.Active
Kentucky - LouisvilleUrban Forestry ProgramTrees and VegetationCommunity of TreesCommunity of Trees - In spring 2007, the Louisville Mayor’s Office and Metro Parks organized a consortium of agencies and organizations to develop a comprehensive approach to trees in the community. The consortium’s goals include establishing regulatory oversight of tree planting and maintenance, gathering information related to current tree canopy, creating a master tree planting and maintenance plan, and conducting an outreach campaign to educate residents on the value of urban forestry.Active
Louisiana - Baton RougeTree and Landscape OrdinanceTrees and VegetationChapter 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
Louisiana - Baton RougeUrban Forestry ProgramTrees and VegetationNeighborWoodsNeighborWoods - NeighborWoods is a program initiated by Baton Rouge Green, a non-profit urban forestry program in Baton Rouge that provides shade trees for roadway medians, parks, and schools. Each year Baton Rouge Green selects four environmentally underserved neighborhoods throughout the city in which to initiate urban tree planting. The organization provides information and technical assistance to local citizens to help them implement tree planting and maintenance programs in their neighborhoods.Active
Maryland - AnnapolisIncentive; Urban Forestry Program; Green Building Program and Standards; Tree and Landscape Ordinance; Resolution; Outreach and Education ProgramTrees and VegetationSee Chapter 17.14Annapolis Energy Efficiency Resolution - In October 2006, Annapolis, Maryland 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 - AnnapolisTree and Landscape OrdinanceTrees and VegetationSee Chapter 17.09Annapolis Ordinance on Trees in Development Areas - Annapolis, Maryland has explicitly recognized the environmental value of trees and acted to protect them during construction. The "Tree Protection Ordinance" 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 dripline of trees unless specific precautions are followed.Active
Maryland - BaltimoreIncentive; Urban Forestry ProgramTrees and VegetationThe Growing Home Campaign

A Stewardship Success Story (PDF)
Baltimore's Growing Home Campaign - Since 2006, Baltimore County's Growing Home Campaign has provided $10 coupons to homeowners toward the purchase of most trees at local nurseries. Each coupon represents $5 of public funds and $5 of retail funds. In order to validate their coupon, homeowners provide information including tree type and location planted, allowing the county to integrate the data with future tree canopy studies. The county began the program as an innovative way to increase tree canopy cover as part of its larger "Green Renaissance" forest conservation and sustainability plan. In the first two months of the program, 1,700 trees were planted.Active
Maryland - MontgomeryIncentiveGreen Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsMontgomery RainScapes ProgramMontgomery 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
Maryland - StatewideUrban Forestry Program; Outreach and Education Program; Comprehensive Plan and Design Guidelines; Air Quality RequirementTrees and VegetationSee Section 6.3 Voluntary and Innovative Measures (PDF)Maryland's State Implementation Plan - Maryland's State Implementation Plan includes a regional forest canopy program that aims to reduce the heat island effect. The program involves assistance and outreach to encourage tree plantings through the coordination of various state and local agencies. This program would be housed within the Department of Natural Resources and would be charged with management of a tree planting database and promoting outreach efforts to landowners and stakeholder groups.Active
Maryland - Takoma ParkTree and Landscape OrdinanceTrees and VegetationOrdinance No. 2003-40 (PDF)Takoma Park Trees and Vegetation Ordinance - The Takoma Park Ordinance provides protection to the urban forest. Tree impact assessments are required for paving activities, and permits are required to construct or develop land when trees would be affected.Active
Massachusetts - BostonBuilding Standard / Energy Code; Green Building Program and StandardsCool Roofs; Green Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsBoston Implements Green Building Zoning CodeGreen 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
Massachusetts - BostonDemonstration ProjectGreen RoofsMacallen BuildingMacallen Building Green Roof - The Macallen Building was designed to address concerns about air and noise pollution, water management problems, the heat island effect, and a lack of local green space. The design incorporates a large entrance area of pervious pavers, and two separate green roof areas, including an upper sloping roof and a recreational terrace. The building won LEED Gold in 2008 and the GreenRoofs Award of Excellence in 2009.Completed
Michigan - DearbornDemonstration ProjectGreen Roofs; Cool PavementsFord Motor Company's River Rouge PlantFord Motor Company's River Rouge Plant Green Roof and Porous Pavement - This 454,000 square foot green roof will mitigate the urban heat island effect and provide many environmental benefits for the truck assembly plant, such as reducing stormwater runoff, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy efficiency, improving air quality, and restoring soil; it also helped the plant achieve a LEED gold certification for the facility.Completed
Michigan - DetroitDemonstration ProjectCool Pavements Detroit Metro Airport Terminal Expansion Slag Cement Detroit Airport Expansion - The Detroit Metro Airport used 720,000 square feet (67,000 m2) of slag cement in an airport terminal expansion project. In this region, the local aggregate is susceptible to alkali-silica reaction, whereas slag resists that form of corrosion better than plain cement and is easier to place in hot weather. This approach increased the life expectancy of the paved surfaces, as well as allowed for the use of a high-albedo product.Completed
Minnesota - MinneapolisDemonstration ProjectGreen RoofsMinneapolis Central Library Green RoofMinneapolis Central Library Green Roof - The 18,500 square foot series of three green roofs on the Minneapolis Central Library helps mitigate stormwater runoff that enters the Mississippi River. The project also features a rainwater harvesting system for irrigation, including two 7,500-gallon cisterns and an automated drip irrigation system. Other co-benefits include increased longevity of the roof, better air quality, and reduced energy consumption. The green roof has helped the library cut its energy use by nearly a third.Completed
Minnesota - MinneapolisDemonstration ProjectGreen RoofsTarget Center Arena Green RoofTarget Center Arena Green Roof - The 113,000 square foot green roof on the Target Center Arena was put in place to mitigate the urban heat island effect, address sewer overflow problems, and prevent drainage into the Mississippi River. The City Council took the leadership role in this difficult large-scale retrofit project. More than 30 species of vegetation are growing on the roof, including lupines that provide habitat for the endangered Karner Blue butterfly.Completed
Minnesota - St. PaulDemonstration ProjectGreen Roofs; Cool PavementsSt. Paul Fire Station Green Roof

Is Green Roof For St. Paul's New Fire Station Worth The Cost
Fire Department Station No.1 Green Roof and Porous Pavements - Fire Station No.1 received a 9,000-square-foot green roof on its parking garage in 2010. The green roof will help mitigate the urban heat island effect in St. Paul, reduce the city’s heating and cooling demands, and decrease stormwater management costs. There are 100 different types of native and low-maintenance plant species on the roof, a small pond, and a garden where firefighters grow their own vegetables. The project also includes porous pavements, and an underground cistern that collects rainwater to irrigate the green roof.Completed
Mississippi - StarkvilleOutreach and Education Program; Demonstration ProjectGreen RoofsOktibbeha County Heritage Museum

Museum’s New Roof Designed to Help Community ‘Think Green’
Green Roof - Mississippi State University students and faculty constructed a green roof on a new pavilion at the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum to reduce stormwater runoff and raise awareness on green solutions. They also plan to install solar panels on the pavilion roof, put in pervious parking spaces, and enlarge the museum’s lawn. Active
Missouri - Kansas CityDemonstration ProjectTrees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsGreen Parking Lots Case Studies - Jackson County Courthouse (PDF)Jackson County Courthouse - The Jackson County Courthouse parking lot employs a variety of stormwater runoff reduction techniques, including the installation of bioswales. The new design reroutes roof drains from the terrace roof and new shelter underground to the bioswales. Flat curbs were also used, which allow water to flow from the perimeter of the lot into planting zones, reducing runoff.Completed
Missouri - Kansas CityDemonstration ProjectTrees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsGreen Parking Lots Case Studies - Vehicle Impound Facility (Kansas City, Mo.) (PDF)Vehicle Impound Facility - Pervious pavement could not be used for this project because of the high percentage of chemical sediment contamination that is released from impounded vehicles. As an alternative, a large bioswale was added to the facility to infiltrate the stormwater runoff. Median landscaping and plantings around the building were also added to curb the heat island effect.Completed
Missouri - Kansas CityDemonstration ProjectTrees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsGreen Parking Lots Case Studies - Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center (PDF)Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center - Bioswale landscaping is used in the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center parking lot in order to remove pollutants from street and parking lot runoff and lessen the need for year-round maintenance. Curb breaks allow water to enter the bioswales. The project provides reduction of stormwater impacts on the community and nearby Brush Creek.Completed
Missouri - Kansas CityTree and Landscape Ordinance; Resolution; Zoning CodeTrees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsGreen Parking Lots Case Studies - Green Parking Ordinance (PDF)Green Parking Ordinance - Kansas City, Missouri's proposed parking ordinance contains several innovative planning techniques aimed at reducing the amount of parking and properly filtrating stormwater from parking lots. The ordinance allows for less parking where appropriate and increases shared parking options, especially in downtown areas or along transit stops. The ordinance also sets landscaping requirements for parking lots and provides options for pervious pavements to enhance stormwater management.Active
New Jersey - ElizabethUrban Forestry Program; Outreach and Education ProgramTrees and VegetationGroundwork ElizabethGroundwork Elizabeth - Groundwork Elizabeth, a nonprofit group in Elizabeth, New Jersey, 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 Mexico - AlbuquerqueResearch; Urban Forestry ProgramTrees and VegetationUrban Forest Initiative Albuquerque, New Mexico (PDF)Albuquerque Urban Forest Improvement Initiative - The City of Albuquerque, New Mexico's Urban Forest Improvement Initiative combines multiple efforts to tap the benefits of urban trees. In addition to pledging to plant 2,000 trees per year, the city has hired an urban forester to design and manage municipal trees and commissioned the USDA Forest Service Center for Urban Forest Research to develop a Municipal Forest Resource Analysis. Completed in August 2006, the analysis found that Albuquerque received a benefit of $1.31 for each dollar invested in city trees.Active
New York - Bronx, NYCResearch; Demonstration ProjectTrees and VegetationEfforts to Improve Air Quality in the Bronx Move Ahead (2009 Press Release)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 sight selection that would maximize the ability to decrease electricity needs in the borough.Completed
New York - New York CityBuilding Standard / Energy CodeCool RoofsNYC CoolRoofsNYC 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 STARŪ rated as highly reflective. Starting from January 2012, existing buildings that replace or renovate 50 percent or more are also required to add reflective materials to their rooftop. In addition, NYC °Cool Roofs address roofs on buildings that were built before the mandated codes took effect. To date 3,000 volunteers have coated 2.6 million sq ft 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 CityResearch; Demonstration Project; Outreach and Education ProgramGreen RoofsGreen Roofs.com Projects - Earth Pledge FoundationEarth Pledge Foundation Green Roof Initiative - Earth Pledge, a non-profit organization in New York City, runs a Green Roofs Initiative that supports the development of green, vegetated rooftops in urban areas to prevent stormwater runoff pollution, lower urban temperatures, and improve air quality.Active
New York - Saratoga SpringsUrban Forestry ProgramTrees and VegetationThe Urban Forestry Project

Tree Plan for Saratoga Springs Taking Root
Urban Forest Project - Sustainable Saratoga, a non-profit 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 - The BronxResearch; Demonstration Project; Outreach and Education ProgramCool Roofs; Green RoofsSustainable South Bronx: Green Jobs, Not JailsSustainable South Bronx - The non-profit group Sustainable South Bronx has developed several goals for the green roof/cool roof demonstration project on top of its office building in Hunts Point. These goals include gathering research on local impacts, establishing a resource for the community, educating New Yorkers on the benefits of green roofs, and advocating sustainable building practices. The demonstration project has become a springboard for developing a local green and cool roof installation company to provide employment opportunities in the South Bronx area. The group's business is called SmartRoofs and includes a job-training program for local residents.Active
North Carolina - RaleighResearchCool 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 - CincinnatiIncentiveGreen RoofsGreen Roof LoansGreen 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
Oregon - PortlandComprehensive Plan and Design GuidelinesGreen RoofsSection C Project Design (PDF)Central City Fundamental Design Guidelines - The City of Portland, Oregon is encouraging on the use of green roofs in the city center district, primarily for their aesthetic and stormwater management benefits. Design guidelines call for integrating vegetated roofs into central city projects.Active
Oregon - PortlandZoning Code; Building CodeGreen RoofsChapter 33.510 (PDF)Central City Plan District Zoning Code - In 2001, Portland, Oregon 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 3 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 - PhiladelphiaBuilding CodesCool RoofsCity 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
Pennsylvania - PhiladelphiaOutreach and Education ProgramNone ListedExtreme Heat – the City of Philadelphia Heat Health Watch-Warning System (HHWWS) - Philadelphia was the first U.S. city to implement the Heat/Health Warning System. City staff work with the National Weather Service to determine when a heat wave is imminently approaching. When a heat alert is issued, news organizations provide educational information about heat waves and health. Philadelphia has appointed thousands of "block captains" to check on elderly neighbors, and the Public Health Department provides home visits by field teams. This program has been a model for the creation of similar programs in other cities throughout the United States.Active
Pennsylvania - PhiladelphiaWeatherizationCool RoofsEnergy Coordinating AgencyPhiladelphia Cool Homes Program - The Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA) of Philadelphia, which administers the city's weatherization services, has applied cool roof coatings as part of its package of energy efficiency treatments. ECA commissioned a study that found the cool coatings and increased insulation eliminated 90% of the heat gain through the ceiling, reducing top-floor ceiling temperatures by an average of 4.7°F (2.6°C) and chest-height temperatures by 2.4°F (1.3°C). These reduced temperatures lowered air conditioning loads by about one-third in a typical rowhouse.Active
Pennsylvania - StatewideIncentiveGreen RoofsEnergy Harvest ProgramPennsylvania Office of Energy and Technology - The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Energy Harvest Program has been providing grants for specific energy saving projects since 2003. In 2007, it dispensed more than $500,000 to green roof projects across the state. The Energy Harvest Program overall aims to deploy innovative technologies and encourages "proposals that are market-driven, create jobs, and produce economic development within the Commonwealth."Active
Pennsylvania - StatewideUrban Forestry ProgramTrees and VegetationTreeVitalizeTreeVitalize - The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources oversees a project called TreeVitalize, which brings together county and local governments, foundations, trade associations, and private industry to restore tree cover in the southeastern part of the state. TreeVitalize aims to plant more than 20,000 trees in approximately 40 neighborhoods in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. The program targets neighborhoods in older cities, boroughs, and townships where tree cover is below 25%.Active
South Carolina - FlorenceDemonstration ProjectGreen RoofsMcMillan Federal Courthouse McMillan Federal Courthouse Green Roof - This 28,500 square foot green roof was part of a Federal General Service Administration project under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This project helps public or federal buildings improve energy efficiency. In the Act, $4.5 billion is being used to convert federal buildings to high-performance green buildings. This green roof is an example of how federal buildings can implement strategies to mitigate the urban heat island effect.Completed
South Carolina - SpartanburgOutreach and Education Program; Demonstration ProjectCool RoofsGoodall Environmental Studies CenterWofford College Cool Roof - The Goodall Environmental Studies Center at Wofford College incorporates a reflective cool roof that mitigates the heat island effect, and is the first academic building in South Carolina to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum certification. The building will use 32% less energy annually than average buildings of the same size and type.Completed
Tennessee - ChattanoogaDemonstration ProjectGreen RoofsHealth Department’s Green Roof InitiativeHamilton County Health Department Green Roof Project - This 4,000 square foot green roof will help mitigate the urban heat island effect while enhancing the energy efficiency of the building, decreasing stormwater runoff, and providing an educational opportunity. The Chattanooga Health Department will collect data on differences between the original roof and the green area. These data will provide information on energy savings and water conservation that will help the city decide whether to expand the green roof.Active
Tennessee - ChattanoogaOutreach and Education Program; Demonstration ProjectCool Roofs; Green RoofsGreen InitiativesGirls Preparatory School Green and Cool Roofs - These roofs are part of a series of green initiatives at the Girls Preparatory School. The green roof cost the school an extra $30,000 that is in part offset by a projected 30% savings in annual energy costs. Additional energy savings come from a white roof installed on the school’s library.Completed
Tennessee - KnoxvilleUrban Forestry Program; Comprehensive Plan and Design GuidelinesTrees and VegetationTable of ContentsKnoxville Street Tree Master Plan - Knoxville Master Street Tree Plan surveys the existing tree cover in Knoxville and Knox County and develops strategies to preserve and increase the urban canopy. Knoxville has established guiding principles, designated preferred species of trees, and evaluated and implemented opportunities to plant throughout the city.Active
Texas - AustinGreen Building Program and Standards; Resolution; Comprehensive Plan and Design GuidelinesCool Roofs; Green Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsCity of Austin - Heat Island Mitigation Resolution

Austin Climate Protection Plan
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 towards 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 - AustinGreen Building Program and StandardsCool Roofs; Cool PavementsAustin Energy Green Building

The Pedernales Lofts Case Study
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. Only one star on the Green Building Multi-Family Rating system is needed to receive the S.M.A.R.T. housing fee waiver.Completed
Texas - AustinIncentiveCool RoofsBuilding Envelope RebatesAustin Energy Efficiency Rebates - Austin Energy offers 30-cent-per-square-foot rebates for cool roof retrofits. Customers must use cool roof products that have a minimum reflectivity of 75%.Active
Texas - AustinUrban Forestry ProgramTrees and VegetationTreeFolksTreeFolks - 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 - DallasGreen Building Program and StandardsCool RoofsSee Item #3 (PDF)Dallas Green Building Program Ordinance - The City of Dallas passed this ordinance to establish a green building program. The program will consist of two phases; the first phase focusing 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 - DallasUrban Forestry Program; Green Building Program and Standards; Demonstration Project; Tree and Landscape Ordinance; Resolution; Zoning Code; Building Code; Outreach and Education Program; Comprehensive Plan and Design Guidelines; Incentive; Air Quality RequirementCool Roofs; Green Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool Pavements Sustainable Skylines - Dallas

Urban Heat Island Project
Dallas Sustainable Skylines Initiative - The Sustainable Skylines initiative is a three-year partnership between the City of Dallas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTOG) to promote sustainability within the City via voluntary programs which emphasize air quality improvements. The initiative has identified the following categories of potential projects to initially perform together: green buildings project, creating a greenhouse gas strategy, green taxis project, off-road equipment replacements and retrofits, renewable energy/energy efficiency outreach program, and an urban heat island project. The goal of the urban heat island project is to develop and implement an urban heat island program for the City of Dallas that will both decrease heated surfaces and increase permeability of surfaces in the Central City and other areas of Dallas.Active
Texas - DallasUrban Forestry ProgramTrees and VegetationAdopt-a-MedianAdopt-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 adopt medians and take responsibility of their tree planting and maintenance. 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 - FriscoGreen Building Program and StandardsCool RoofsGreen Building Program

See Chapter 18, Article IV, Division 3
City of Frisco Green Building Program - Frisco, Texas requires cool roofs in its commercial green building program. In late 2006, the City Council approved requirements for most new commercial construction to install ENERGY STAR labeled cool roof products.Active
Texas - HoustonBuilding CodeCool RoofsSee Section Cool Roofs (PDF)City of Houston Commercial Energy Conservation Code - The City of 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 - HoustonIncentiveGreen Roofs; Trees and VegetationDowntown Houston Development Assistance (PDF)

Vertical Gardens Grant Initiative (PDF)
Vertical Gardens Matching Grant Initiative - The Houston Downtown Management District (HDMD) Vertical Gardens Matching Grant initiative first gave grants in 2007 to encourage plantings that cover walls. The grants also support exceptional landscaping that adds significant evapotranspiration and shade for blank walls, parking garages, and sidewalks. The program goals include improving overall aesthetics, pedestrian comfort, air quality, and reducing the heat island effect. Grants cannot exceed half of the total project cost or $20,000, and contributions can be in kind. Tenants, property owners, and registered non-profits can all apply.Active
Texas - HoustonResearch; Outreach and Education Program; Demonstration Project; Air Quality RequirementCool Roofs; Green Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsHouston Urban Heat Island EffectCool Houston! - Cool Houston! is a program led by the Houston Advanced Research Center and is designed to reduce urban temperatures through use of cool technologies – reflective and green roofing, paving with light colored or porous materials, and a greatly expanded forest canopy.Active
Texas - San AntonioTree and Landscape OrdinanceTrees and VegetationSan Antonio Ordinance (PDF)San Antonio Tree Preservation Ordinance - San Antonio, Texas requires different levels of tree protection based on tree class or 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 - StatewideUrban Forestry ProgramTrees and VegetationTrees for TexasTrees for Texas - The Texas Trees Foundation created a program called Trees for Texas, which is focused on tree plantings throughout the state. The Foundation partnered with a private corporation to provide initial funding for the program. Working with neighborhood groups, schools, churches, other non-profit organizations and municipalities, the Foundation provides and/or plants trees on public property throughout the North Central Texas region. Since its inception, the Foundation has completed hundreds of tree planting projects, resulting in the planting of over 139,000 trees.Active
Texas - TaylorTree and Landscape OrdinanceTrees and VegetationClick on Ordinances, and then Landscape OrdinanceLandscape Ordinance for Taylor, Texas - The City of 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 - HighlandComprehensive Plan and Design GuidelinesTrees and VegetationGeneral Plan Update 2008, Chapter 7: Community DesignHighland City General Plan - The Town of Highland, Utah, 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. Those guidelines were then adopted into the zoning requirements for the town center.Active
Utah - Salt Lake CityOutreach and Education ProgramCool Roofs; Green Roofs; Trees and Vegetation; Cool PavementsKool KidsUtah Kool Kids Program - The Utah State Energy Program, Utah Department of Natural Resources, and the National Energy Foundation worked together to create the Utah Kool Kids program to teach elementary and secondary age students about urban heat islands, their impacts on energy and air quality, and heat island reduction strategies. The program gives teachers lesson plans, overheads, test questions, experiments, and research tools to engage students.Active
Utah - Salt Lake CityTree and Landscape OrdinanceTrees and VegetationSee Chapter 21A.48.070Salt Lake City Parking Lot Shade Tree Ordinance - Salt Lake City stipulates, via ordinance, that all hard-surfaced parking lots or hard-surfaced vehicle sales or lease lots, for passenger cars and light trucks, with 15 or more parking spaces, must provide landscaping amounting to not less than 5% of the interior of the lot. The ordinance specifies the number of shrubs and trees per foot of front, corner, interior, and rear side yards required for compliance.Active
Utah - StatewideUrban Forestry Program; Outreach and Education ProgramTrees and VegetationStatewide Urban & Community Forestry ProgramTreeUtah - TreeUtah has launched a comprehensive initiative, the MetroGreening Program, that uses advertising, outreach, and educational workshops to promote proper planting and maintenance of trees to reduce heating and cooling costs, diminish the heat island effect, and achieve other benefits in Utah's most densely-populated regions.Active
Virginia - AlexandriaDemonstration ProjectCool RoofsProfile of Success (PDF)Jefferson Houston Elementary School - The Jefferson Houston Elementary School replaced its conventional, dark roof with a cool roof which increased the roof's reflectivity from less than 20% to 78%. The cost of the reflective roof was comparable to alternate materials considered. The school also increased its insulation level from R-10 to R-20. Energy costs were reduced to $90,000 a year from $120,000 a year.Completed
Virginia - ArlingtonGreen Building Program and StandardsCool Roofs; Green RoofsEnvironmental Services: Green BuildingArlington County Green Buildings - Arlington, Virginia bases its municipal green building requirements on the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System, which includes cool roof and green roof options.Active
Virginia - Fairfax CountyComprehensive Plan and Design GuidelinesTrees and VegetationFairfax County Tree Action Plan (PDF)Tree Action Plan - In June 2007, Fairfax County, Virginia set a precedent by selecting an urban forestry canopy goal of 45%. The county developed this target after it determined that current tree management efforts would lead to a decrease in canopy size from 41% to 37% over the next 30 years. To combat this loss, the county has proposed increasing the average number of trees planted from 21,000 to 84,000, justifying the expense of additional trees by citing the multiple benefits they provide.Active
Washington - OlympiaDemonstration ProjectCool PavementsDecatur Low Impact DevelopmentDecatur Street Demonstration Project - The City of Olympia, Washington used a grant of $352,000 from the state's Department of Ecology to re-pave a street in 2007 with permeable pavement as part of a demonstration of stormwater management techniques. Decatur Street drains into nearby Schneider Creek and was originally designed without any stormwater management infrastructure. The permeable pavement used on Decatur Street is designed with an infiltration rate of 0.15 inches per hour. The City of Olympia will monitor the pervious pavement to determine how well rainwater infiltrates into the ground and the amount of pollution that is filtered. The City will also monitor the construction and long-term maintenance costs of the re-paved street.Completed
Washington - PoulsboDemonstration ProjectCool Pavements City of Poulsbo Public Works Committee (PDF) Poulsbo Pervious Pavement - Poulsbo, Washington, used a $263,000 grant from the Washington Department of Ecology to pave 2,000 feet of sidewalk with pervious pavement, making it one of the largest pervious surface projects in the state.Completed
Washington - SeattleTree and Landscape OrdinanceTrees and VegetationStreet Tree Planting ProceduresSeattle Street Tree Planting - Seattle requires a street use permit before landscaping in a planting strip in a public right-of-way. For street trees, the strip must be at least 5 feet (1.5 m) wide, unless specific approval from the city's arborist is received. Five feet is generally recommended as the minimum width for planting most trees. A guide is available to help property owners select and install trees in accordance with the city's requirements.Active
Washington - SeattleUrban Forestry Program; IncentiveTrees and VegetationSeattle reLeafSeattle Urban Forestry Initiative - Since 1996, Seattle's Neighborhood Matching Fund program has provided more than 17,200 trees to more than 600 neighborhood groups for Seattle's streets and parks, and the city has established the Emerald City Task Force, which advises the city on incentives and policies to encourage private property owners – residential and commercial – to improve their land by preserving existing trees and planting new ones. Active
Washington - SeattleZoning CodeGreen Roofs; Trees and VegetationDepartment of Planning and Development - Green FactorSeattle Green Factor - Seattle has adopted minimum landscape requirements, known as the Seattle Green Factor, for new developments in commercial areas in the city. This program requires that, as of late January 2007, 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

Jump to main content.