Today, White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Brenda Mallory held a convening on building-based solutions to address urban heat, attended by resilience leaders, smart surfaces industry representatives, product manufacturers, city government representatives, and state and Federal agencies. The virtual convening was the first in a stakeholder engagement series on national building modernization that Chair Mallory announced during a May Buildings Roundtable, where Biden Administration officials unveiled a number of Federal investments to modernize homes and businesses and create well-paying, union jobs.
During today’s convening, Chair Mallory emphasized the urgent need to prioritize mitigation of urban heat, which especially impacts low-income communities and communities of color, as temperatures continue to soar in cities across the country. She highlighted that urban heat intersects with environmental justice, built environment, health, and community resilience, requiring integrated action to improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable in our cities. Administration officials also outlined critical investments in the Build Back Better Agenda to improve the resilience of vulnerable communities and building infrastructure. As part of a whole-of-government approach, the White House recently launched an Extreme Heat Interagency Working Group that will bring together health, scientific, and environmental resources to develop both short- and long-term strategies to reduce the impact of extreme heat on vulnerable communities.
During the convening, speakers from Phoenix, Baltimore, San Antonio, and New York City showcased innovative, replicable heat mitigation programs and policies. Remarks were also delivered by the Executive Director of the Global Cool Cities Alliance, and the President and CEO of Topps Products, who highlighted domestically manufactured products that position heat resilience as an American industry.
The convening concluded with a call to action encouraging cities, product manufacturers, non-profit advocates, and Federal agencies to press forward in their efforts to scale innovation in products and programs for heat mitigation across American cities.