Flemish Home Affairs Minister Bart Sommers (Open VLD) is allocating €350,000 for a project in his city that will provide some cooling for Michellar.
The temperature in cities is higher than in the countryside – there is simply less open space in the city. Heat is also retained for a longer time between bricks and concrete in the city. Thus the difference between urban and rural areas can be up to eight degrees.
That’s why Secretary Summers (who is also a former mayor of Mechelen) wants to support projects that help cities cool off. The Wonderful Streets project in Mechelen, for example.
On Paardenkerkhofstraat – a street that according to previous studies appears to be extremely heat-sensitive (many old people and children live there) – 20 new measuring points have been installed to detect heat very accurately.
In addition, the city also takes a number of heat-resistant measures: a cool square with a natural canopy, green lanes and space for water. Secretary Summers: ‘This way we create cold ash in Mechelen. We then perform a pre- and post-measurement to measure the effect. We can then use this information to begin implementing heat-resistant interventions elsewhere in the city. No guesswork, but verification on the basis of scientific ideas of the interventions that offer the best guarantee of cooling.
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