The urban heat island Mitigation Impact Screening Tool (MIST)

David J. Sailor, Nikolaas Dietsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


A web-based software tool has been developed to assist urban planners and air quality management officials in assessing the potential of urban heat island mitigation strategies to affect the urban climate, air quality, and energy consumption within their cities. The user of the tool can select from over 170 US cities for which to conduct the analysis, and can specify city-wide changes in surface reflectivity and/or vegetative cover. The Mitigation Impact Screening Tool (MIST) then extrapolates results from a suite of simulations for 20 cities to estimate air temperature changes associated with the specified changes in surface characteristics for the selected city. Alternatively the user can simply define a nominal air temperature reduction that they hope to achieve with an unspecified mitigation scenario. These air temperature changes are then input to energy and ozone models to estimate the impact that the mitigation action may have on the selected city. The results presented by MIST include a high degree of uncertainty and are intended only as a first-order estimate that urban planners can use to assess the viability of heat island mitigation strategies for their cities. As appropriate, MIST analyses should be supplemented by more detailed modeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1529-1541
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Air quality
  • Albedo
  • Atmospheric modeling
  • Urban climate
  • Urban forestry
  • Urban heat islands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ecological Modeling


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