Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Reason #7 to Save the WSV Sasaki Garden

The top 10 reasons to save the WSV Sasaki Garden in 10 parts.

Reason #7:

Last time we wrote about the psychological benefits of the Garden, but the Garden also provides physical comfort (i.e. shade) and reduces the urban heat island effect.  The Garden is a "shady haven" (Spirn, 1984) in the summer.

Shady havens prevent heat gain and encourgae heat loss by blocking direct sunlight, be preventing the absoprtion of heat in surrounding surfaces and its subsequent reradiation, and by encouraging evaporation and the penetration of breezes. 
An urban heat island occurs where there is an elevated difference in temperature between an urban area and an outlying (rural) area.  Several factors contribute to the urban heat island effect: low vegetation cover, properties of materials in cities, the form/layout of buildings in cities, heat produced by human activities, weather, and geographic location.  Expanding tree cover and increasing the amount of vegetated areas in cities is one of four main strategies to reduce urban heat islands recommended by the U.S. EPA.
Trees and other plants help cool the environment, making vegetation a simple and effective way to reduce urban heat islands.

Trees and vegetation lower surface and air temperatures by providing shade and through evapotranspiration. Shaded surfaces, for example, may be 20–45°F (11–25°C) cooler than the peak temperatures of unshaded materials. Evapotranspiration, alone or in combination with shading, can help reduce peak summer temperatures by 2–9°F (1–5°C).
Read reason #8 here.

Read reason #9 here.

Read reason #10 here.

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