Heat Island Effect Research in St. Louis

Author: Aaron Young, Sustainability Planning Manager at East-West Gateway Council of Governments


The National Weather Service reported in 2022 that heat is the leading cause of weather-related fatalities in the United States. Extended periods of extreme high temperatures also can result in increased incidence of crimes, non-fatal heat injuries, lower work productivity, high energy bills, degraded water quality, and stress on infrastructure. 


These trends are exacerbated by the urban heat island effect, in which  concrete and other physical aspects of cities cause higher temperatures in city centers and suburbs. In response to calls for action about extreme heat, East-West Gateway Council of Governments conducted a preliminary study on the urban heat island effect in the St. Louis region.