Infrastructure

The role of infrastructure in making cities cooler and more liveable

Cool infrastructure, such as trees, green spaces, and solar-reflective roofs, can reduce city temperatures by 3 to 4 degrees Celsius.

Cool infrastructure, such as trees, green spaces, and solar-reflective roofs, can reduce city temperatures by 3 to 4 degrees Celsius. Image: Pexels/sergio souza

Eric Mackres
Senior Manager, Data and Tools, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
Gorka Zubicaray
Urban Development Senior Technical Specialist, WRI Mexico
Bina Shetty
Program Head - Spatial Data And Data Analytics, WRI
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The sun sets over the Medina of Marrakesh in Morrocco. Developing countries in Africa and Asia are expected to experience the worst impacts of rising temperatures from climate change. Due to the urban heat island effect, cities are especially susceptible.
The sun sets over the Medina of Marrakesh in Morrocco. Developing countries in Africa and Asia are expected to experience the worst impacts of rising temperatures from climate change. Due to the urban heat island effect, cities are especially susceptible. Image: Nick Gutkin/iStock.

The extended suburbs of Mumbai, India, feature homes with metal roofs. Analysis from WRI India finds that while vegetation in a city mitigates land surface temperatures, a large share of homes in Mumbai are built with metal roofs, which leads to a higher surface temperature.
The extended suburbs of Mumbai, India, feature homes with metal roofs. Analysis from WRI India finds that while vegetation in a city mitigates land surface temperatures, a large share of homes in Mumbai are built with metal roofs, which leads to a higher surface temperature. Image: KishoreJ/Shutterstock
Mean surface temperature vs. vegetation by ward
Mean surface temperature vs. vegetation by ward Image: WRI India; Contains Modified Copernicus Sentinel Data [2015-2020] and LandSat 8 (USGS).
37% of Mumbai's households live under metal roofs and are exposed to higher heat risk
37% of Mumbai's households live under metal roofs and are exposed to higher heat risk Image: Census of India 2011.
Analysis excludes two districts that are predominantly natural areas without urban footprint.
Analysis excludes two districts that are predominantly natural areas without urban footprint. Image: WRI Mexico.

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People tend to a rooftop garden in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Increased vegetation can reduce city temperatures.
People tend to a rooftop garden in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Increased vegetation can reduce city temperatures. Image: R. de Bruijn_Photography/Shutterstock

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InfrastructureCities and UrbanizationClimate Change
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