Heat island nation

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Every summer we hear about the "heat island" effect of too many buildings, air conditioners, cars, heat-absorbing asphalt and other inconveniences of the modern environment. The average summer temperature has increased 3 degrees Celcius in the past ten years. Tokyo's supposed to have some rules about roof gardens and open/planted land per square foot of new building. A small measure of concern for a big problem, right?

Wrong. In some of the areas of Tokyo currently undergoing huge building projects, the rules have been amended. It looks like you can "swap" square footage in one building location with another to allow you to have fewer green spaces in a commercial area. So I guess you count one 100,000 sq ft building as only 50,000 (so you need to include only 1/2 as much garden) but add 50,000 to some other building you're putting up where it's more convenient to have open green space.

So much for small measures.

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