BUSAN, May 24 (Korea Bizwire) – Busan Metropolitan City is building on its cool roof project from last year to prepare the city for heat waves this summer.
Busan’s cool roof project assists with painting roofs in the city white, which helps to reflect sunlight and prevent the building from heating up.
Over 400 residential buildings occupied by members of socially marginalized groups and community centers for senior citizens in over 13 districts will be prioritized first, the local government said yesterday.
The Ministry of Environment is allocating 150 million won to adopting cool roofs at over 300 buildings in the Haeundae District, which has been hit heavily by the urban heat island effect.
The urban heat island effect refers to a phenomenon where urban areas become warmer than their surrounding rural areas due to a buildup of man-made infrastructure.
Last year alone, a deadly heat wave killed 17 people, putting the death toll from heat waves over the last five years at 60, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“After painting some of the roofs white, which reflects sunlight and heat, the buildings experienced a drop in temperature. In preparation for heat waves this year, we’ve decided to launch the cool roof project sooner than expected,” one local government official said.
Volunteers including public servants, environment organization members and local university students are expected to participate in the initiative to help paint the roofs white.