The City and Coming Climate Explores Design-Oriented Strategies to Slow Urban Warming

May 9, 2012 | Atlanta, GA

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Most large cities are warming at twice the rate of the planet as a whole. Not only does that mean more discomfort during already warm summer months, but also contributes to heat-related illness and death. In a recently published book, The City and the Coming Climate: Climate Change in the Places We Live, Associate Professor Brian Stone offers strategies that address climate change at the urban scale.

Evaluating climate change using the boundaries of a city or region is not typical in climate change literature. Furthermore, policy tools for combating localized temperature changes are lacking.  Stone’s book will therefore be a much-needed resource for cities interested in working to manage rapidly increasing temperature in the present period.

“While many cities have developed plans for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, many fewer have developed plans to manage the levels of extreme heat that are already being routinely experienced, which now constitutes the most significant weather-related threat to human health,” Stone shares talking about the influence of this text. “Focused on the scale at which we directly experience climate change, the book should be of interest to planners, policy makers, and anyone who works or lives in an urban environment.”

The book seeks to understand both the drivers and implications of climate change at the scale of cities.  Its chief purpose is to understand how land use drives climate change independent of its effects on greenhouse gas emissions.  Based on its evidence surrounding temperature change at the scale of the city, the book explores a range of design-oriented strategies cities can use to measurably slow the pace of warming.

The City and the Coming Climate: Climate Change in the Places We Live (Cambridge University Press, 2012) is currently available through the publisher or through Amazon.com.

Brian Stone teaches in the Georgia Tech School of City and Regional Planning in the areas of urban environmental planning, integrated land use and transportation planning, and planning history and theory. Stone's program of research is focused on the spatial drivers of urban environmental phenomena, with an emphasis on air quality and climate change, and is supported through funding from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among other funding institutions. He is Director of the Urban Climate Lab at Georgia Tech.