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Mitigating Extreme Heat

The City of Raleigh is taking action to protect residents from the effects of urban heat islands. 

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City Projects to help beat the heat

City Projects to help beat the heat

The City of Raleigh has a number of projects and programs to keep residents safe and comfortable during extreme heat events. 

Tree Planting and Maintenance 

Trees provide shade and cool the air. The City plants and maintains trees on city-owned property—parks and public right-of-way. The goal of our Urban Forestry Program is to keep our older trees healthy and to plant new trees for the protection of future generations of Raleigh residents. 

Complete Streets 

Complete Streets is an innovative way of creating streets that are sustainable public spaces open to all transportation modes and safe for communities. These projects add trees, green stormwater infrastructure and permeable surfaces which help manage runoff and protect pedestrians from heat.  

Cool Roadways Pilot Project

Raleigh Transportation is piloting a new technology to help reduce the amount of heat absorbed by paved roadways.  In this project, the City will apply a specialized coating to roadways in certain areas. This coating should help the roadways to reflect heat, rather than absorb it. The coating also preserves pavement for longer periods of time and absorbs certain air pollutants.  

Truck applying titanium dioxide coating to roadway

Truck applying titanium dioxide coating for the Cool Roadways Pilot Project. This coating helps reduce heat absorption on our roadways.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure 

Green stormwater infrastructure helps absorb rainwater with natural surfaces, plants or retention ponds.  Using green stormwater infrastructure means less paved surface to absorb heat and more green space.  The City uses as much green stormwater infrastructure as possible and has a number of programs to support private installations.  

Taking action in our Strategic Plan 

The City has included identifying heat islands and heat mitigation strategies in its 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. A cross-departmental team is reviewing City projects and identifying opportunities to increase heat protections for residents. 

Places to keep cool  

Raleigh has parks, pools and splash pads where residents can cool off on hot days. Be sure to check operating hours and amenities on the website before you go!

Resources for Preparedness  

The Ready Raleigh Emergency Preparedness Guide covers a number of emergency scenarios, including extreme heat events. The guide gives practical guidance about what to do before, during and after an emergency and how to recognize and respond to the symptoms of heat-related illnesses.  

Little girl plays at splash pad Chavis Par

The newly renovated Chavis Memorial Park includes a new community center and splash pad. 



Nicole Goddard

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