Synthetic play fields are a big matter of environmental concern. They appear among the hottest places in the city, on the same scale as parkings, supermarkets and big factories.
We recently collaborated with the people of North Andover Massachusetts (USA) in order to show the heat impact of synthetic grass fields. These turfs release a lot of heat into the environment compared to the natural grass, increasing the Urban Heat Island effect.
Source : Geoff Croft/NYC Parks Advocate
The number of synthetic fields is in progress, but many people are confronting this issue. People like Patrick Barnard from http://www.savewestmountpark.com and Guive Mirfendereski from http://www.synturf.org are constantly publishing news about this specific hot topic.
The westmounter group Savethepark! was particularly strong when the Westmount council announced the decision to construct a new synthetic field in Westmount Park. About this theme see the article : "grass warfare in Westmount"
Camilo Pérez Arrau from UQAM collaborated with Savethepark! by sharing his master work on satellite images. These coloured pictures showed here (PDF, 1017 Kb) helped to show people how hot the synthetic fields could be.
The next picture shows the Jeanne-Mance park in Montreal, Canada. The difference between temperatures on natural and artificial turf reaches 4,6°C on June 27, 2005 (10:32am).
Source : Google Earth, 2007
Source : Pérez C., 2007
Source : Pérez C., 2020
Save the Park! produced an excellent video about synthetic play fields on Westmount Park :