SCARP student project featured by CityStudio's Hubbub showcase

Combatting Heat Using Public Art poster

For years, SCARP students have had some of the most innovative and community-inspiring ideas to spark change and wellbeing in the larger community. Recently, SCARP students Ryan Carpio, Vanessa Chan, Salma Said, Clarice Tuai, Timothy Wong had one of the neatest ideas in a while: 

Their PLAN 351 (Green Cities) course group project, "Combatting Heat Using Public Art", shows how public art can play a role in responding to climate change impacts such as extreme heat events, including right here in the City of Vancouver. 

This project has now been showcased as one of City Studio’s (Vancouver) Hubhub featured projects this year. In collaboration with the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation's Services Manager, Luke Balson, the project aims to mitigate the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHI) through outdoor design elements by incorporating public art, while also stimulating community engagement in public spaces.

The details

"The project looks at outdoor design interventions as a solution to reducing the Urban Heat Island effect in the Olympic Village area, specifically looking at Creekside Community Centre. Surface temperatures in this area are disproportionately high compared to the rest of Vancouver. This can be attributed to the extensive amounts of concrete surface in the surrounding areas which tend to absorb solar heat radiation.

The intervention of public art can potentially respond to the heat challenge in three ways.

  1. First, the public art structures would provide an increased shade coverage area.
  2. Second, regarding use of white paint for murals on sidewalks, recent research has shown that Barium Sulphate (BaSO4-) acrylic paint has a high electron band gap for low solar absorption and has proven its effectiveness in high solar reflectance and radiative cooling.
  3. Thirdly, both of these lead to increased access to heat mitigation interventions in a feasible manner, in which they consider the existing conditions of areas that are vulnerable and prone to heat, providing access for relief while also contributing to the mitigation of the Urban Heat Island.

With this intervention, we plan to refer to City of Vancouver guidelines and policies to engage with inclusive short and long term implementations. Such as involving grant-based applications for local artists, as well as community stakeholders and the city’s public art committees in public art planning. Our project hopes to achieve the potential outcomes of decreasing the urban heat island and heat."

Student member Ryan Carpio remarked in his personal announcement on the achievement:

Special shout out to Salma Said, Clarice Tuai, Timothy Wong, and Vanessa Chan for being such an amazing group and for giving me the opportunity to collaborate with each of you on this meaningful project during my final semester at The University of British Columbia. As well, special thanks to Dr. James Connolly and Keisha Maloney for their support, feedback, and guidance!

Learn more

  • Research and projects
UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. E-commerce Cart A shopping cart. Time A clock. Chats Two speech clouds. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Home A house in silhouette. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Mail An envelope. Telephone An antique telephone. Play A media play button. Search A magnifying glass. Arrow indicating share action A directional arrow. Speech Bubble A speech bubble. Speaker emmitting sound A speaker emmitting sound. Star An outline of a star. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. User A silhouette of a person. Vimeo The logo for the Vimeo video sharing service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service. Future of work A logo for the Future of Work category. Inclusive leadership A logo for the Inclusive leadership category. Planetary health A logo for the Planetary health category. Solutions for people A logo for the Solutions for people category. Thriving cities A logo for the Thriving cities category. University for future A logo for the University for future category.