Smart City

Cool Paris – Reversing climate change in cities

A revolutionary demonstration project – inspired by research on photonic membranes from Stanford University –presented in the center of Paris as part of the initiatives for the UN Climate Change Summit COP21.

Scientist, engineers and designers from Transsolar, an international climate engineering firm, and Carlo Ratti Associati, a design and innovation consul-tancy founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Carlo Ratti, recently presented a demonstration project that explores how to re-verse climate change in cities. Inspired by cutting edge nanotech research from Stanford University, the team shows how new photonic membranes that reflect solar radiation could help reduce extreme temperatures in our cities, at zero energy cost and zero water demand. The project will be un-veiled in Paris (in front of Musée d’Orsay) from August 19th to October 4th 2015. The demonstrator, developed with the Mairie de Paris, is part of a se-ries of events under the banner of “Paris Climat 2015” and the United Na-tions Framework on Climate Change’s Conference of Parties (COP21), to be held in Paris later this year.

“Greenhouses are enclosures that let in the sun’s short wave radiation, while trapping long wave radiation. As a result, temperatures increase. Now imagine doing exactly the opposite: finding a material that would reflect in-coming short wave radiation from the sun, while letting the earth radiate to outer space. The result would be net cooling – something we could call a cool-house,” says Carlo Ratti. “Theoretically, if one were able to cover a large urban area in an optimized material we could reach temperatures be-low zero even during the summer. In reality, today’s membranes can achieve decreases in temperature of several degrees.”

The Paris demonstrator will showcase 3 different materials to create 3 dif-ferent climate modification options, namely: Greenhouse, Coolhouse, and Treehouse. Results of the simulation are shown on site and in real time online. The three displays use the UTCI (Universal Thermal Climate Index) to estimate how the average person would feel, taking into account: solar radiation, wind speed, mean radiant temperature of the area, ambient air temperature, relative humidity, and typical values for a person’s clothing factor and activity. Results are calculated based on weather from Weather Underground and updated every 15 minutes.

“This article was initially published on http://www.succeedinparisregion.com.”

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