Protect yourself from the sun with the online tool!

Marta Tokarska  21. 7. 2021

Protect yourself from the sun with the online tool!

Climate change affects us every day. Can IT tools help us deal with the burdensome manifestations of such changes? The example from Spain shows that it is possible but also not that simple...

On a sunny day, in the Spanish streets without trees, the temperature can be up to 15-20°C higher than in shaded streets. Barcelona city authorities, trying to ensure that pedestrians move comfortably and safely around the city in hot weather, offer an innovative application "Cool walks".

This tool guarantees reaching your destination while walking as much as possible in the shade. “Cool walks” offers three options: the shortest way, the optimal way and “vampire trail” which allows you to avoid the sun completely while walking. There are also drinking water fountains and places to rest indicated on the map.

The developers of the application had to deal with many challenges related to the topography of streets and the position of the sun during the day. Streets that are already well described from the drivers' point of view had to be re-analyzed in terms of sidewalks as well as crossings and shortcuts that do not exist on regular maps. The city's previous tree mapping efforts have been helpful, in order to increase the tree cover from 5 to 30% of the area.

For now, the tool covers only one district in Barcelona. As more cities map trees, there is more data of this kind and maybe similar apps will start working in other places.

“The tools we are talking about here are solutions worth noting. Without a close connection with mobile applications, which would allow an average user to use them on a daily basis, they should be perceived primarily as an important element in planning the development of the city. Because they enable the analysis of various communication paths and the identification of critical areas, showing a deficit of solutions to minimize the nuisance associated with climate change”

Paweł Binkiewicz, LIFE Tree Check expert

Well ... Interesting but also demanding initiative ... For the effect to be correct, it is necessary to take into account many often variable information. The benefit, however, is undeniable and we can only hope that one day a similar tool will be available for some city in our geographical area. After all, the problem is already global today.

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