Wednesday September 11, 2013
Louisville will create a comprehensive plan to mitigate the impacts of the urban heat effect, thanks in part to a national grant announced this week.
Louisville is one of nine communities in the country to receive the grant from the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and its partner, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network.
“The city’s sustainability plan is our roadmap to a greener city, and it calls for the establishment of community partnerships to mitigate the urban heat island effect,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “This grant will help us achieve that goal.”
The matching grant of $60,000 will allow the city to develop a comprehensive urban heat island assessment for Louisville. The assessment will include a heat management plan that will identify zones in the city most suitable for implementing heat mitigation strategies such as tree planting, white and green roofs, and cool paving materials that will decrease the urban heat island effect.
The plan also will establish the city’s urban heat baseline, and will be used to inform city policy decisions and resource allocation. The grant was matched with $75,000 from the Augusta Brown Holland Philanthropic Foundation and the Owsley Brown Charitable Foundation.
An urban heat island is a metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas due to a lack of vegetation and large amounts of impervious surfaces, or concrete. According to a study by the Georgia Institute of Technology, Louisville might be heating up faster than other large U.S. cities.
“The Office of Sustainability is seeking partners in achieving the city’s environmental goals, and this grant helps us speed up those efforts,” said Sustainability Director Maria Koetter.
About Local Sustainability Matching Fund
The Local Sustainability Matching Fund is a project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. The Fund is supported with leadership grants from Bloomberg Philanthropies, JPB Foundation, Kendeda Fund, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, New York Community Trust, Summit Foundation, and Surdna Foundation. The Fund is designed to catalyze partnerships between local governments and local, place-based foundations and to advance community-based sustainability initiatives.