In the second of our TEDxCity2.0 videos, from an event hosted by City Atlas and the sustainable coffee bar COFFEED, Diahann Billings-Burford, New York City’s first Chief Service Officer, talks about launching NYC Service and the city-led volunteer initiative NYC°CoolRoofs.
NYC°CoolRoofs leads volunteers to combat heat from climate change by painting rooftops reflective white. Over 5100 volunteers have worked with NYC°CoolRoofs in four years, painting over five million square feet of rooftop across the city. The powerful benefits from this simple idea include blunting the ‘urban heat island effect’ and reducing the city’s energy demand during stretches of hot weather. Impact volunteerism, like CoolRoofs, is a method that can spread; it provides an opportunity for public education and participation, and gives people a way to take direct action on this critical issue for New York City and other cities around the world.