Recombinant Records

Urban Heat Island

Green Roofs and the Urban Heat Island cartoon

18 Comments on "Urban Heat Island"

  1. Andrew McMillen on Sat, 6th Dec 2008 12:56 pm 

    That’s pretty awesome Stu! I really liked the drawing of the RE. Good to see you’re putting your talents to work again.

  2. Paul & Deb McMillen on Tue, 9th Dec 2008 7:57 am 

    Hi Stuart
    Back on the pens again.Tried to make a copy for your collection folder but couldn’t do, perhaps it is longer than the others.

  3. Matt on Thu, 11th Dec 2008 2:29 am 

    Hey stu, its Matt… If you’re the same stu McMillan from Robina… please write back to [email protected]



  4. Maria Fraser on Tue, 3rd Feb 2009 12:05 pm 

    Hi Stuart,

    Can you please contact me about permission to use your material in TravelSmart brochures/materials.
    Thank you

  5. stuart on Fri, 29th May 2009 11:24 am 

    nb the Royal Exchange hotel in Toowong, Brisbane (pictured in row 7) is currently changing its colour scheme from dark grey to a light creamy colour.

    …I doubt this cartoon is responsible for their decision!

  6. Lilorfnannie on Wed, 17th Jun 2009 1:33 am 

    How do you propose to account for the tons of weight added by the soil, the water, and the plants. How do you propose to deal with the moisture and mold problems, as well as insect infestation. It’s NOT practical!

  7. Fernando Batista on Fri, 17th Jul 2009 9:28 pm 

    As we have enough people in the world saying how things are bad it is great to see someone drawing out ways of making things better! Congrats!

  8. Max on Tue, 18th Aug 2009 9:39 am 

    Well, nice idea, but not quite right. yes, white is a reflective color, but it doesn’t reflect all back into space, it can also reflect light onto other objects or the street, depending on its angle. Also, a dark color with the right building materials can be a nice trade-off, while it is only moderately warm during summer (depending on location, layout and materials used) it can help heat your home during winter.

    The easiest way to eliminate urban heat isles is to reduce cities, but this is very eco-unfriendly, because the used surface area would increase dramatically.

    Greening your city does help, but generates different problems and costs, which can be quite high compared with a supposed effect.

    Green roofs is a nice idea, if you have someone who cares about the plants, otherwise they can be pretty bad stuff for the materials used in building the house.

    All this greening of buildings will come with a price tag and since it is most effective with appartement buildings, it will most likely hit the poorer people of the country. Unlike mortar, plants grow and thus need a lot more care..

  9. 4Grrl on Sun, 27th Sep 2009 1:40 pm 

    Question: In addition to insulating against heat, are green buildings also good insulators against the cold?

  10. turelincon on Tue, 29th Sep 2009 1:05 pm 

    The urban heat island is caused by all the heat exhausted from air conditioning systems into the air, instead of sending it into the earth as geothermal wells. Also the systems that cool the buildings themselves create heat which has to be radiated somewhere as well as they heat they’re trying to radiate. The hotter it get’s the more poorly designed air conditioning systems we purchase and install so the contractors have no incentive to rent a drilling rig to poke holes down below the gas lines.

  11. stuart on Thu, 1st Oct 2009 8:54 pm 

    4Grrl, it seems that green roofs can have a similar insulation effect in winter:

  12. praveen k on Wed, 14th Oct 2009 1:19 pm 

    yes this is a wonderful reality.. please plant more trees in our home and environment.. GO GREEN….

  13. Tori on Thu, 21st Jan 2010 1:32 pm 

    Stuart…any chance we can get posters or prints of your work?

  14. Lucas N. on Fri, 23rd Apr 2010 6:38 pm 

    I really appreciate your comics and their message, agreeing with almost all. There’s no irony or cynicism, which give them a calm, “buddah-like” power(although i love sarcastic comics). Whish more people would appreciate the work you do and what youre aiming at, so we’ll spread the word :)Keep on drawing, best of luck!

  15. Tom on Sat, 26th Jun 2010 5:02 am 

    Could you email me the Energy Efficiency comic strip? I’ve just been curious to view it

  16. Fiona on Mon, 2nd Aug 2010 4:36 am 

    My counter-argument to painting your roof white:

    Reflecting more heat into the atmosphere is not necessarily a good thing. This is perhaps especially true in urban areas where the air is full of greenhouse gasses.

    Green seems like it is definitely the way to go.

  17. Sam on Sun, 15th Apr 2012 11:53 am 

    Fiona on Mon, 2nd Aug 2010 4:36 am

    Fiona – it’s not ‘heat’ that the white roofs are reflecting it’s solar energy (shortwave radiation), which is reflected back out to space *without* heating anything up. For short-wave radiation to be converted to heat, it needs to be absorbed, and, if you have a lighter colored roof, less short-wave energy is absorbed and radiated out again as ‘long-wave’ energy, a.k.a. ‘heat’.

    Also, greenhouse gases are well mixed in the atmosphere, so there is not a significantly higher proportion of them in cities where CO2 and other GHGs are emitted by human activity.

    Stu, my only quibble with the idea of planting gardens on roofs etc, is the issue of sourcing the water to keep all these gardens green! If you can find the water, all well and good, but Australian cities don’t tend to have too much spare water… I guess you could use grey water… that would work…. what happens in a drought though when water resources becomes scarce? Food for thought nevertheless. I prefer the white roof idea…

  18. Jeremiah on Sat, 13th Apr 2013 8:21 am 

    Cha cha cha chia