Issue Brief: The Excess Urban Heat Mitigation Act


The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) supports legislation that helps mitigate the impacts of climate change, using green infrastructure and nature-based solutions such as green roofs, tree planting, bus and transit shelters, and other cooling techniques.


Climate change is intensifying heat frequency, duration, and temperatures, which, in turn, affect public health and air quality, infrastructure maintenance, the frequency of natural disasters, and more. This extreme heat creates a “heat island effect” in urban areas where the infrastructure absorbs more heat and creates pockets of higher temperatures compared to natural landscapes. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, extreme heat is the leading weather-related cause of death in the United States, while the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates extreme heat is responsible for 1,220 deaths annually. Extreme heat puts communities at risk, with underserved communities being most impacted. Innovative solutions that work in tandem with natural systems and consider the needs of all communities are needed to combat extreme heat.

Landscape architects design and implement green infrastructure and nature-based solutions to mitigate impacts of climate change such as extreme heat. Landscape architecture solutions—including tree planting programs, green roof installations, and other cooling techniques—have proven track records to help mitigate these climate-related impacts.

Bill Summary

On April 27, 2023, Representative Ruben Gallego (AZ), with Representative Watson Coleman (NJ), reintroduced H.R. 2945, the Excess Urban Heat Mitigation Act of 2023. A Senate version of the bill, S. 1379 was reintroduced by Senator Sherrod Brown (OH) on April 27, 2023, thanks to the targeted advocacy efforts of the ASLA Ohio Chapter.

This bill would help bring proven solutions to communities nationwide. Specifically, the measure would establish a grant program to provide communities with access to solutions that help mitigate some of the impacts of climate-induced high temperatures, including green roofs, tree planting, bus and transit shelters, and other cooling techniques.

Additionally, this bill seeks to advance environmental justice initiatives by providing specific consideration for projects in underserved communities. For example, no less than 50 percent of financial assistance under this bill will be provided for projects in low-income and Environmental Justice communities in any fiscal year.

Recent Action

On April 27, 2023, H.R. 2945 was reintroduced and referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

On April 27, 2023, S. 1379 was reintroduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Senator Sherrod Brown (OH), and cosponsors.
Congressman Ruben Gallego (AZ), and cosponsors.


Roxanne Blackwell, 
Esq., Hon. ASLA,
Director of Federal
Government Affairs

Elizabeth Hebron,
Director of State
Government Affairs