In the southern part of Florida, Miami can get pretty hot, especially in the summer months. According to U.S Climate Data, the city of Miami has experienced temperatures as high as the mid-90s and sometimes even more than that in certain areas. As a tropical tourist destination, Miami is experiencing its own urban heat issue that includes a combination of air pollution, traffic noise, and high temperatures.
However, with the help of vertical gardens Miami, the city is steadily making progress toward sustainability and improved cooling throughout several locations. By adding vegetation in congested urban areas, vertical gardens, also known as “green walls,” can reduce the undesirable effects of urban heat.
What Is Urban Heat?
Also known as the “urban heat island effect,” urban heat is a concept discussed by many environmentalists and sustainability groups that indicate a city is way hotter than its surrounding rural areas (especially during the summer months). The increase in a city’s temperature is due to buildings and unshaded roads that absorb heat from the sun during the day and then radiate that heat back to the surrounding air.
That’s why dense urban areas may encounter mid-afternoon high temperatures that are 16 to 22 percent hotter than surrounding areas with vegetation. Urban heat is a real problem that can affect city life, have adverse effects on its residents, and increase energy costs.
Here are some examples negative effects of urban heat:
- Compromised comfort and human health with an increased risk of heat exhaustion, heatstroke, respiratory illnesses, and other heat-related issues.
- Increased energy expenditure needs to cool buildings and homes which results in increased emissions of heat-trapping gasses and air pollutants.
Going Green Is The Best Solution
Miami is identifying several short-term and long-term solutions to adapt to increasingly hotter summer months as well as to mitigate some of the urban heat stress. Some of the most common short-term solutions are educating residents to avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, embracing sustainable cooling methods, and staying hydrated.
But there are also long-term solutions to reduce urban heat effects, such as:
- Planting high-foliage trees along paved streets to provide shade.
- Installing green roofs, or rooftop gardens to add a vegetative layer that can provide shade and lower temperatures of the roof surface and surrounding air.
- Constructing green wall structures within commercial buildings and residencies to increase clean oxygen flow and provide shade.
Miami Is Turning To Green Walls
Green walls are becoming increasingly popular with interior designers and real estate developers interested in adding more greenery to their buildings. There are several reasons why Miami is investing in green walls. Not only do green walls absorb pollutants in the air, but they naturally produce fresh oxygen for us to breathe. They also can function as thermal insulation by providing more shade for people to keep cool during a hot summer day.
Large cities such as Miami are actively finding solutions to the problems associated with urban heat, and green walls are one of them. These vertical gardens are gradually becoming a part of common city locations such as restaurants, hotels, commercial buildings, museums, and new real estate developments. With the influx of green walls spreading throughout these locations, Miami is well on its way to reducing its urban heat temperature.