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Our Urban Heat Island and Air Quality studies seek to observe, measure, model, and analyze how the rapid growth of urban areas impacts the region's climate and air quality. The primary objectives for this research effort are:

  1. To investigate and model the relationship between urban growth, land cover change, and the development of the urban heat island phenomenon;
  2. To investigate and model the relationship between Atlanta urban growth and land cover change on the air quality; and
  3. To model the overall effects of urban development on surface energy budget characteristics across urban landscapes.

Our goal is to derive a better scientific understanding of how land cover changes associated with urbanization, principally in transforming forest lands to urban land covers through time, has, and will, effect local and regional climate, surface energy flux, and air quality characteristics. Allied with this goal is the prospect that the results from this research can be applied by urban planners, environmental managers, and other decision-makers, for determining how urbanization has impacted the climate and overall environment of the area. It is our intent to make the results available form this investigation to help facilitate measures that can be applied to mitigate climatological or air quality degradation, or to design alternate measures to sustain or improve the overall urban environment in the future.

EPA / NASA Urban Heat Island Pilot Project (UHIPP)

NASA's Project ATLANTA (ATlanta Land use ANalysis: Temperature and Air quality)

Responsible Official: Dr. Steven J. Goodman (
Page Curator: Diane Samuelson (

Last Updated: August 5, 1999