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Monday, July 13, 2015

Nashville is HOT. We need SHADE.

When your phone looks like this for the next 2 weeks or so, you know you have finally made it to summer in Nashville.  

This is a call for shade!  Lately, I have been noticing a string of sidewalks going in without proper plans for shade coverage.  At this time, I am not sure why this would be.  Is it our problem with overhead power lines making tree planting a future problem?  Or, is it just poor planning and lack of committment to the Strategic Sidewalk Plan?  Is it a cost issue?  I think these are all questions that need to be addressed.

According to the Strategic Sidewalk Plan, sidewalks are ideally supposed to have a shade covered green buffer.

Examples of sidewalks going in WITHOUT SHADE COVERAGE.

When you go to walk and you have beads 
of sweat the moment you walk out the door, it is truly hot.   Probably, too hot for many people and a significant deterrent to walkability.

Shade could rectify this issue.  After doing a little research on the subject of heat islands and differences that shade can make, it sounds like the most dramatic result is often in areas that typically contain token bits of shade such as parking lots. In one study, put on by children in a 4-H club, they found a temperature difference of 35 degrees in a parking lot. They sampled a variety of surfaces - lawns, sidewalks, parking lots - and found the average difference was 27.5 degrees!

With shade coverage, temperatures shown below would feel more like mid-70s which is a very doable temperature for all to walk comfortably.

Shade Parade is for SHADE covered, well designed sidewalks in Nashville.


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