Since there are no currently active contests, we have switched Climate CoLab to read-only mode.
Learn more at
Skip navigation
Share via:


The urban water system offers an in situ asset which can be used to address the three primary spacial dimentions of urban heat islands.



To quote Arnfield, A. J. et. al., (sec. 2.3): “..there are many UHIs, displaying different characteristics and controlled by different assemblages of energy exchange processes.”.  Thus, all sustainability efforts can be viewed as being relevant and thus 'coherent' to any plan. We just need to see the synergistic links.

Management: A new form of corporate structure, known as the B Corporationcan provide a flexible legal means for achieving the best management framework. The Board of Directors would reflect the views of the City government. 

Funding: This project can use an independent income stream and the revenue potential of off mission activities should be viewed as an important funding tool. In example, site rental fees for  SMES or a server farm can be significant. Also, ice skating or Bocelli Concert on Fresh Pond, during hot summer nights, may be appealing to many.

The B Corp. would be free to engage in such off mission profit opportunities where as a 501 (c3) or city government typically can not go off mission.  

STEM: In brief, this early draft is based upon an earlier proposal which was focused upon addressing issues specific to Cambridge Mass. and this current effort will be modified for this specific topic.

Metastrategy: The above  thermal model image can be viewed as an analogy of an idealized UHI effect (the quantifiers in the image are not relevant). As can be seen, the cooler (blue)  advective currents between the warmer (red) convective currents do play a significant roll in the overall thermal dynamics and thus may be used in mitigating UHI specific thermal dynamic flows.

Large ice masses are known to create their own advective currents and the concept of thermal inertia is key to creating the ice sheet.

This protocol also includes the use of BECCS/OHRAEEH/OFBmetered misting and other adaptation means.



What actions do you propose?

Who will take these actions?

Where will these actions be taken?

What are other key benefits?

1) The Fresh Pond work can increase water filtration at both the volume and type of filtration levels and provides aquathermal based energy utilities near by or city wide.  

2) 100 acres of increased albedo (i.e. brightening) represents a significant area cooling function (and water health function). 

3) A trail based (underground) biomass/sewage treatment system, based upon the Oxyhydrogen Reaction in Algae (OHRA), can be prototyped with the initial funds.

4) The OHRA method can create large volumes of carbon negative energy (with biochar) from urban sewage nutrients and or the benthic wood dust digesters while producing additional fresh water.

5) Integrating an OHRA/OFB ability within current City infrastructure improvement plans for the trails/roads/water systems is possible and may generate funding support from multiple state/federal agencies.

6) The OHRA method represents a significant climate change mitigation tool at the urban level as well as at the statefederal and global levels


What are the proposal’s costs?

An initial $60K seed fund, for the CNC organizational expenditures, would be sought with an initial goal of $3M being raised through a first round of CNC stock sales. The value of the total amount of issued stock should be around $10M

The primary expenditure division would be:

1) Ice Sheet=$4M


3) Non-lake district active and passive cityscape cooling (i.e. EEH/OFBmetered misting etc.)=$2M

4) Server Farm=Self Funded 

The initial source of earnings of the CNC would be from.. subsurface ..venue rentals. And, an ice sheet surface recreational venue can be managed by current local recreational concerns

The CNC will need to achieve approximately $3M + in yearly retained earnings to allow for:

a) Continuing RD&D and outreach funding activities ($1.5M=social mission).

b) ROI for the shareholders ($1.5M=profits).

The long term RD&D and outreach expenditures would be coordinated between the CNC Board of Directors, community environmental mitigation groups and the City. Also, the City would have a strong input into the CNC Board of Directors nominations.

Thus, the CNC would become a de-facto climate change mitigation and adaptation RD&D and community outreach funding arm of the city.

It is plausible that this project will generate patents worth significant sums. This type of off-mission revenue stream would significantly enhance the ability of the CNC to fund a wide spectrum of community level environmental adaptation efforts.

An important consideration from the City's perspective is the potential of this aggressive UHI/energy conversion/management effort may create significant weight, in favor of the City, within the Georgetown Challenge.

In brief, the CHIP strategy allows the City to realize a large economic and ecological upside while enjoying minimal economic, environmental or political risks. This scenario is in line with an important global effort.

Cities for Climate Protection program

Thus, such a synergistic management strategy would be a world leading effort.

Time line

The above graphic shows the recent radical increase in Arctic methane which can evolve into an Arctic Methane Tipping Point (min 8:15). The reason for the inclusion of this graphics is to illustrate that we have little time, less than many believe, to prepare for a radically different climate. 

Fast Tracking the CHIP: 

1) Initial $3M stock sale, 3 months.

2) With a robust level of fast track support at all levels, an operational small ice sheet prototype can be achieved within approximately 1-2 months. A fully deployed 100 acre ice sheet can be achieved within 9-12 months.

Also, starting during the winter would expedite this plan as the natural ice sheet can be used for multiple purposes and save significant start-up energy/capital.

3) OHRA/BECCS - 2000 person capacity septic system prototype12 months.

4) Deployment of EEH/OFB hybrid energy management retrofit kits, for both commercial and private property, can be developed and sold through the CNC and can be made available within the first 12-18 months.

5) Street level evaporative cooling/metered hydrants6-8 months.

6) SMES and server farm installations can be operational within 18-24 months (funding dependent).

The above list of actions can be achieved concurrently and within the proposed budget. However, this achievement would require a true fast track commitment at all levels.

In brief, we have a wide spectrum of technologies available to address urban climate change mitigation and adaptation and it is tempting to prioritize such options and work our way through the options in an orderly fashion. That is the 'normal' and 'professional' approach to dealing with a robust list of options.

However, climate change represent an existential threat to our species and life, in general, on this planet. In view of this reality, we do not have the luxury of an abundance of time.

Thus, our best management approach is to fund as many technical options as possible and do so in the shortest time possible.

This logic can not be faulted. 

Related proposals

There are multiple CoLab proposals which can be folded into the CHIP framework. Such as:

1) The use of algal/aquaponics for energy/biochar production can be augmented with tree waste supplied by Cantabridgians and the City Tree Warden. The pond floor and trails provides a convenient place for both bio-digesters and dark cultivation of non-sewage based biomass.  

2) The bio oil generated through the biotics can be used as fuel for city buildings/vehicles and or feed stock for plastic production such as roof top garden equipment, vertical algal/aquaponics cultivation equipment and other related bioenergy systems. This is similar to "Rethinking the City" proposal.

3) Stockholm is instituting a biochar program which can be replicated. The feed stock for a slow pyrolysis method can be supplied by the City Tree Warden or through the chemosynthisis biomass output.

4) The Direct, Diffuse, and Reflect Heat from Surfaces proposal is similar.

5) Solar cooling & Heat storage is adaptable to the CHIP.



1) Harvesting renewable energy from Earth’s mid-infrared emissions

2) A metal-free organic–inorganic aqueous flow battery


4) The Gas Exchange of Hydrogen-adapted Algae as Followed by Mass Spectrometry.

5) The use of a lake bed as a methane producing bio-digester is a novel idea. The rate of methane production is a relative issue and the below references can help the reader better understand the energy conversion dynamics.

The qualitative evaluation of Biogas Samples Generated from Selected Organic Wastes:

5) Energy Balance and Emissions Associated with Biochar Sequestration and Pyrolysis Bioenergy Production

7) Carbon Negative Scenario 

8) Fire Hydrant Metering coupled with simplistic evaporative cooling equipment at the street level. Cambridge's humidity average is on the high side of the envelope for misters (