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Paris Buried a River 100 Years Ago. Now The City Needs To Resurface It to Combat Climate Change

By District Energy posted 01-26-2022 22:23




On July 25, 2019, Paris recorded its highest temperature in history, at 108.7°F (42.6°C). A government study published in September predicts that unusually intense and long heat waves, which the city endured in 2018, 2019 and 2020, will likely become common in summertime within a few decades, potentially stretching into spring and autumn.

Paris must adapt to its new climate, but city officials are keen to avoid one measure in particular. “We want at all costs to prevent Parisians resorting to individual air conditioning systems; unlike U.S. cities, it’s not yet an established custom here,”

Instead, to keep Paris cool, officials want to rely largely on greenery (with 170,000 trees to be planted by 2027) and the city’s rivers. Paris has a district cooling system—an environmentally friendly technology that uses water or another medium to move heat from hotter areas to naturally cooler ones—that’s the largest in Europe. Built in 1991, it pumps chilled water from the Seine across 56 miles (90 km) of pipes to cool hotels, department stores, offices, museums and more. Over the next 20 years, the city plans to triple the length of the network and hook up all of its hospitals and healthcare centers.

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