WAVE 3 News Editorial - June 19, 2014: Downtown Heat - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

WAVE 3 News Editorial - June 19, 2014: Downtown Heat

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By Ken Selvaggi
WAVE 3 News Vice President and General Manager

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville leads the nation in a category it would rather not lead.

Louisville's Urban Heat Island - the difference between city temperatures and surrounding rural areas – is tops in the nation, and growing.

Heat is our most problematic severe weather problem, causing more deaths than natural disasters. Heat adds stress to people already suffering from medical conditions and can be a factor in causing heart attacks.

Hills to the north and south of Louisville cause heat to build downtown and leads to pollution issues as well. The vast expanse of downtown buildings and parking lots absorb the heat and a lack of trees downtown exacerbates the problem. 

Only 10 percent of downtown Louisville has trees. Other cities quadruple that rate. We certainly have the capacity to plant thousands of more trees downtown and add more green space. Other heat mitigating possibilities exist and should be explored, including rooftop construction and configuration.   

Downtowns are the heart of a city and Louisville needs a cooler and fresher one. 

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