Lawns Are Dumb. But Ripping Them Out May Come With a Catch

But overall, says University of California Berkeley innovation designer Ian McRae, who studies climate resilience in the built environment, lawns are an inefficient way to cool a green space, compared to building out a diverse grouping of native plants that are more aesthetically pleasing, water-efficient, and conducive to biodiversity. “We love our lawns for varying reasons,” McRae says, “but they are overvalued and overutilized relative to the variety of planting palettes available to us to create spaces we want to be in, spaces that can perform far more effectively from a cooling and water use standpoint.” (He wasn’t involved in the new research.)

Much of the cooling attributed to lawns

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