Innovation That Matters

Urban Canopee aims to make cities cooler and more pleasant places to live | Photo source Urban Canopee

Making cities more liveable and enjoyable through urban reforestation 

Architecture & Design

A startup deploys plant canopies to tackle 'urban heat islands’

Spotted: Cities that replace natural land with dense concentrations of pavement, buildings, and other hard surfaces absorb and retain heat. This, in turn, increases energy costs, air pollution levels, and the number of heat-related illnesses and deaths.

In a bid to cool our cities, French startup Urban Canopee has come up with an innovative solution – deploying plant canopies at key locations in urban areas. These canopies combat heat, restore urban biodiversity, fight air pollution, and improve the quality of life for citizens. Their deployment is especially valuable as the world faces more frequent extreme heat as a result of climate change.

The canopies—which are made of a hi-tech material that enables plant growth—are designed to be installed in public spaces such as parks and squares. They provide much-needed respite from summer heat, while also purifying the air and creating habitats for local wildlife.

Available in a range of sizes and specifications, the canopies have been deployed in multiple cities across France, including Toulouse, Marseille, Reims, Saint-Denis, and Paris. They are also used by private companies throughout Europe.

Other innovations tackling urban heat spotted by Springwise include a platform for assessing urban heat islands, a temperature map for Vienna, and a rickshaw kept cool by a ‘rooftop garden’.

Written By: Katrina Lane



Download PDF