Webinar to focus on creating cool roof zones to dissipate heat, provide food

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The ability to provide fresh food while reducing the environmental impacts of hot buildings in urban settings will be the topic of a web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension at noon on Aug. 17.

Presenting the 75-minute webinar will be Gabriela Steier, an attorney with the Vermont Law School.

During "Creating Cool Roof Zones: City Greening and Urban Agriculture for Heat Island Mitigations," Steier will discuss how local governments can tackle climate change and food security challenges with an inside-out approach, closing systemic gaps and combating the waste of resources.

"Global population growth reached a tipping point in mid-2009, when the world population became more urban than rural for the first time in history. Sixty percent of the global population is expected to live in cities by 2050, challenging local governments' institutional capacity to improve urban livability and maintain food security," Steier said.

"Therefore, greening of a city through urban agriculture zoning ordinances provides an opportunity to mitigate the environmental impacts of climate change as well as provide agricultural products to the residents of the city."

Urban rooftop farms combine greening and agriculture techniques that reduce environmental impacts associated with urban areas, Steier noted, adding that cities in Europe have benefited from integrating them into building plans. The webinar will address how agricultural zoning laws could promote urban rooftop farms in this country.

"We'll also address the benefits of urban rooftop farms in improving food security and reducing food mileage cost in urban areas," she said.

This webinar is part of Penn State Extension's Summer/Fall 2016 Land-Use Webinar Series. All webinars will be offered from noon to 1:15 p.m. either Eastern Daylight Time or Eastern Standard Time. All of these programs will be recorded and available for future viewing. Other topics and dates in the series include the following:

  • July 20: "Where It All Goes and Why You Need to Know: Act 537 Sewage Facilities Planning Requirements"
  • Sept. 21: "Pennsylvania Demographics: Sources and Trends"
  • Oct. 19: "Who Invited the Pennsylvania PUC to the Planning Party?"
  • Nov.16: "Safe Streets for Everyone: Lancaster County's Complete Streets Program and Complete Streets in Southwest Pennsylvania"

The cost of the webinar series is $40 for all five and $75 for all five for those who want to receive certification maintenance credits from the American Planning Association, as well as for professional engineers needing PDH credits. In addition, registered landscape architects can receive continuing education credits for a fee of $45.

To register, visit Penn State Extension's Economic and Community Development Team website here.

For more information, contact Peter Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400 or ptw3@psu.edu.

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Last Updated August 04, 2016