‘Making cities green havens can cap global warming’

Planting trees and de-paving can stop the rise in temperatures, scientists claim

Big Zero Report 2023

Scientists claim that ‘urban greening’ is the answer to keeping the world’s cities at a healthy temperature.

Examples of urban greening include planting trees on streets, de-paving areas and opening rainwater gardens.

Researchers from the Universities of Nanjing and Yale claim that cities have been warming by an average of 0.5°C each decade, which is 29% more than rural areas.

Surveying 2,000 cities, the study revealed that Asian cities were warming at the quickest rates, due to the high level of urbanisation occurring there; building high rise buildings and cutting down trees.

The scientists stress that tree planting, replacing exposed land surfaces with greenery, reduces the rate of global warming in the city, capturing surface heat during the night for storage.

In Europe, the study claimed that urban greening was responsible for offsetting the global warming rate by 0.13°C per decade on average.

The report urges governments and policymakers to implement more greening measures to combat the rising heat throughout the world’s cities.

London reached a record temperature of 42°C this summer, which could have been lowered slightly with more greenery to absorb heat during the night, rather than concrete, which reflects it.

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