Hyderabad, December 2, 2019: The three day 5th International Conference on Countermeasures to Urban Heat Islands (IC2UHI) kicked off here in the city at IIIT-Hyderabad Campus at Gachibowli today morning.
This is the first time the IC2UHI is being held in India at Hyderabad. It comes to Hyderabad after it held in Tokyo, Berkeley (California), Venice, and Singapore.
The Conference hosted by IIIT-Hyderabad is highly relevant to scientists, engineers, builders, architects, and government officials. It was formally inaugurated, by Mr Arvind Kumar IAS, Principal Secretary, Municipal Administration & Urban Development (MA&UD)
Speaking to the gathering immediately after its inauguration, Mr Arvind Kumar IAS, Principal Secretary, Municipal Administration & Urban Development (MA&UD) said, “Hyderabad currently has about 120 million sftfor businesses. In the next 2 - 5 years if we add up all the proposals we’ve received it would increase to 140 million sft by 2025. So we can image how the (urban head island) UHI is going to double in a short span of time. Hence a conference like this is highly relevant in discussing the countermeasures of UHIs.
Mr Kumar went on to share some of Telangana government’s countermeasures for reducing urban heat islands, such as the Ministerial Act whereby each of the State’s 33districts shall have a green action plan for all urban local bodies within the district year-wise for the next 5 years. Each urban local body (ULB) should have a nursery, and 10 % of the budget has been earmarked for green budget as the first charge, should conduct water audit and reduce non-revenue water to its minimum. Also town planning has been taking necessary action to fix traffic and infrastructure and the State is encouraging the setting up and development of integrated townships. He also stressed the importance of every individual to be personally invested in countering urban heat islands and doing their bit for the environment.
It has long been recognized that the excessive heat and smog in many cities in the summer, the “Urban Heat Island”, is partly due to the choices of building materials, lack of vegetation, and urban design. The conference is devoted to the science, engineering and public policies to help relieve excess heat and air pollution of summers in hot cities. It is highly relevant to scientists, engineers, builders, architects, and government officials,
Around 100 technical paper presentations in four parallel sessions including case studies on Urban Heat Island will be presented during the conference in three days. Three keynote speakers will address participants during the conference. These include Prof. David Sailor (Arizona State University), Dr.Ronnen Levinson (LBNL, USA) and Mr.TanmayTathagat(Environmental Design Solutions, India).Prof. Hashem Akbari, Concordia University, Canada will give his plenary talk.
An Open Session has also scheduled. It will be held for free for everyone. It will be held on the last day of the Conference on 4 December (limited seats) from 2pm – 6pm. This session includes: A case study from Los Angeles on Cool Pavements; Session on UHI mitigation initiatives in India and Panel discussion on Implementation challenges in India
Speaking about the conference, Prof Vishal Garg, Head of Centre of IT in Building Sciences, IIITH and organising chair of the conference said, “An urban heat island is an urban area that is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas due to human activities. The temperature difference is usually larger at night than during the day and is most apparent when winds are weak. This UHI leads to an increase in energy consumption, elevated emissions of air pollutants and adversely impacts human health and comfort, especially of urban poor.
In Indian cities, we are witnessing an increase in temperature due to UHI leading to increased number of heatwaves. In this conference, the current research on countermeasure to urban heat island will be presented and discussed. Through the open session on the last day of the conference, we will present the current research and learnings from the international case studies to practitioners, and policymakers in India. Further, this will be an opportunity to showcase and discuss the initiatives in India, such as the Telangana Government’s, “Making Telangana a cool state - a state-wide cool roof program” with the international experts. This program aims to achieve 100 sq. Km cool roof area in Hyderabad by 2030. Scientists, engineers, builders, architects, and government officials concerned with improving the urban environment are participating in the conference.