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Fischer Launches 'Cool502' Initiative To Encourage Residents To Combat Urban Heat

urban heat island

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is calling on residents to work within their own neighborhoods to help combat the city’s rising temperatures in urban areas.

The city has one of the fastest-growing urban heat islands in the nation. Fischer released a long-awaited study of Louisville’s heat island Monday morning. During a news conference, he stressed the ways the study’s data can help inform individuals and neighborhood groups about what they can do in various areas of town.

“It really gives a level of specificity to this that we’ve never had before,” Fischer said.

He said Metro Government has and will continue to play a role in addressing urban heat, but by necessity, a lot of the onus will be on people to make changes on a micro-level.

“We all need to do so much more,” Fischer said. “And the government can only do so much with trees. Most trees are obviously on private land, so we need all of our private citizens to step up.”

His administrationrolled out an online database where residents can search for their neighborhoods, identify their primary heat island challenges and pinpoint the exact number of cooler roofs or additional trees that will help measurably lower summer temperatures.

Fischer is calling the initiative “Cool502,” and is encouraging residents to share their cooling efforts on social media using the hashtag: #cool502.

The urban heat island study will be open for public comment for the next 60 days. There are also two urban heat island-related events planned for next month: study author Brian Stone of Georgia Tech will speak at Spalding University on May 16, and there’s an urban heat island symposium planned for May 13 at Jefferson County Community and Technical College.

WFPL News is partnering with Al Dia en America to provide Spanish-language versions of stories. To read this story in Spanish, click here.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.