Financial TimesFinancial Times

Can cities adapt to an era of extreme heat?

By Camilla Hodgson

22 Jul 2022 · 9 min read

Editor's Note

How are cities evolving to cope with the extreme heat we are set to face in the coming years? The Financial Times' big read addresses this discussion.

Urban centres across Europe are seeking solutions as record summer temperatures threaten to become an annual event The ancient Greeks pioneered a range of innovations to cool their houses during the summer, planting trees to provide natural shade and designing buildings to limit which spaces felt the full blast of the sun’s rays.

Thousands of years later, their descendants are drawing upon the same kind of ideas to cool down the city of Athens. One of Europe’s hottest cities, Athens is a densely built-up urban sprawl that suffers from a deficit of green space. City planners are looking at ways to create more shade, such as widening pavements and planting more trees.

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