Urban Heat Island

Urban Heat Island

Most of us live and work in cities, and some may live in rural areas. In Kuwait, the rural regions are way more significant than the urban areas; however, most of the population lives in the urban areas along the seashore. Living densely in the urban areas has many consequences, one of which is the unbalance in the heat distribution. 

One study examined the urban heat island in Kuwait between 2001 and 2017. In the urban areas, in comparison to the rural, the difference in the temperature was -1.1 °C, which means the urban areas are cooler than the rural areas, whereas at night, the difference is 3.6 °C, which is pretty shocking; this means that the heat in the urban areas is way hotter than the rural. 

As the population is on continuous growth, the climate change impact is becoming more threatful for us due to our activity; one of these consequences is the urban heat island effect. 

The heat island effect can be minimised through different techniques, mainly the materials used, for instance, the asphalt which creates the roads and some pedestrians walking paths. The asphalt has a remarkable ability to absorb and store the heat; 95% of the heat from the sun is being absorbed and stored in the asphalt, whereas 5% only being reflected where this heat gets released late in the evening, which causes the heat waves. 

Using lighter materials, colour-wise, would reflect more of this heat, create shaded spaces that will block the heat from entering the path using vegetation, and implement water features such as fountains are examples that can help tackle the urban heat island. 

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