Keys to avoiding/mitigating urban heat islands:
- Keep roofs a lighter color (building codes, paint. An environmental impact assessment is needed to compare the net effects of painting with leaving as is.[expansion needed])
- Keep roads a lighter color - choosing a lighter color of bitumen or concrete (provided it's not so bright that it causes excessive glare for drivers).
- Higher, multi-level buildings, interspersed with green areas, rather than low rise sprawl with a majority of hard surfaces. This is also preferable in terms of water permeability (see also Permeable pavements) avoiding excess stormwater runoff, and thus having better groundwater recharge.)
- Vegetation covering most of the land surface
- Green roofs - provided the extra weight doesn't mean excessive embedded energy.
- Green walls