New Research: Some Types Of Shade Better Than Others At Keeping Us Cool
City planners look for opportunities to plant more trees to increase comfort by providing shade in sprawling urban environments — especially in cities where summer temperatures are the highest. But more trees are only part of the solution, says Fulton Schools assistant professor Ariane Middel (at left in photo) and a part of the team in ASU’s Urban Climate Research Center. Her team’s recent report, “50 Grades of Shade,” emphasizes the importance of buildings, tunnels, large umbrellas, shade sails and similar things to provide shade and help curb the impacts of the urban heat island effect. With help from MaRTy, her mobile meteorological sensing technology (in picture), Middel and fellow researchers recently determined where creating shade in the city of Tempe would have the most impact on keeping people cool. They plan to develop an online tool to help city planners develop shade strategies.