Can Charlotte lead the way in cooling cities? (WFAE)

February is one of Charlotte’s coldest months, but researchers at UNC Charlotte have been investing a lot of time lately thinking about how hot it gets in the summer.

Veronica Westendorff, a landscape architect who’s been studying urban heat islands for six years, believes Charlotte’s tree canopy presents an opportunity to show leadership in a problem faced by cities throughout the United States.

“Right now we’re still just below 50% tree canopy,” Westendorff said recently. “And I think we could catch it now, and that’s what our leadership has tried to do. It dates back to 2008 when the city started this process, and then we got Sustain Charlotte and TreesCharlotte. They started early enough for us to have an impact, so I very much believe that Charlotte can be a leader in this.”

Read the full WFAE article.