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Atlanta's Urban Heat Island

Cool Communities is a nonprofit action-oriented advocacy program aimed at improving and conserving energy by promoting the use of lighter, reflective (high albedo) roofing and paving materials in combination with strategically planted shade trees as a desirable design "system." 

In Georgia, Cool Communities has formed a coalition of public and private organizations to support these efforts. Nationally the program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. Each local "Cool Community" organization is responsible for its own funding, generally through grants, contributions, and foundation support.

The Cool Communities Sustainable Design "System" is composed of three basic measures for heat island mitigation: 

These American Forests images show the progression of the urban heat island in the Atlanta metro area from 1972 thru 1993.