As summer temperatures soar across Europe, cities like Rome face significant challenges in managing the impacts of heatwaves. This year, the city is proactively tackling one of the most pressing issues: Urban Heat Islands (UHIs). These are localised zones within urban areas that become significantly warmer than their rural surroundings due to human activities and dense infrastructure. Rome’s innovative Green Emergency Plan is set to mitigate the severe effects of UHIs and transform the city into a cooler, more livable space.

Urban Heat Islands occur when dense urban environments, characterised by buildings, roads, and limited vegetation, trap heat. This phenomenon leads to higher temperatures in city centres compared to outlying rural areas. UHIs exacerbate the impact of heatwaves, increasing energy consumption, air pollution levels, and health risks, especially for vulnerable populations. Because of climate change, UHIs are becoming more dangerous each year, especially for the most vulnerable part of the population.

Large potted trees will be strategically placed in high-traffic areas, especially near public transport stops. This initiative will help cool these zones, providing immediate shade and reducing the urban heat effect. The plan includes a robust maintenance schedule to ensure these trees thrive throughout the summer. This involves regular watering and care to provide continuous cooling and enhance the city’s green infrastructure.

Harnessing Geospatial Data and AI for the mitigation of Urban Heat Islands

The role of geospatial data and artificial intelligence (AI) in managing urban heat and planning effective interventions is invaluable. These technologies provide detailed and dynamic views of urban environments, crucial for addressing climate challenges effectively.

Why should a city use geospatial data on the environment? How Latitudo 40 can help cities and territories grapple with climate change and summer heatwaves? 

Geospatial data provides cities with a detailed, birds-eye view of their environment. It captures real-time changes and trends that are crucial for effective urban planning and environmental management.

Latitudo 40 is at the forefront of addressing UHIs with its innovative geospatial technologies. Thanks to the intersection of remote sensing and data analysis through AI, our Surface Urban Heat Island (SUHI) layer is a powerful tool designed to measure and analyse ground temperature data, providing critical insights for urban planners and policymakers. 

Practical Applications of SUHI
  1. Pinpointing Heat Hotspots: SUHI maps enable city planners to identify and target UHI hotspots for interventions such as strategic tree placement and the installation of cooling surfaces.
  2. Guiding Urban Development: By informing the construction of heat-resistant infrastructure, SUHI data helps select materials and designs that minimise heat absorption.
  3. Enhancing Public Health: Insights from SUHI guide public health campaigns and medical preparations, focusing on neighbourhoods most vulnerable to heat stress.

Rome’s Green Emergency Plan is a bold and innovative approach to mitigating summer heat. By combining immediate cooling measures with Latitudo 40’s advanced geospatial technology, the city could not only address the current heat crisis but also pave the way for a more sustainable and resilient urban future.

As Rome continues to navigate the challenges of climate change, the integration of innovative technologies like Latitudo 40’s SUHI layer will be crucial in creating a cooler, smarter, and more livable urban environment.

In order to help cities in achieving their climate mitigation objectives, we have developed a new innovative Marketplace of geospatial insights and data, EarthDataPlace. It enables businesses, governments, and researchers to explore, analyse, and act on critical environmental and urban data. Thanks to the vast catalogue of past data, and the capability to request and download information regarding every area in the world using the tasking system, EarthDataPlace provides the people with the capability to access, in a democratic way, a vast amount of information and Open Data. SUHI is only one of the layers developed by Latitudo 40 in our quest to help the planet.

Visit EarthDataPlace to get started and discover the world of geospatial data!