"Is the way many cities have been designed making them even hotter?"
I like how this Forbes article headline is framed as a question when the answer is clearly YES. OBVIOUSLY.
A recent study using AI and satellite images from space to map the most extreme hot spots in a sample of the urban centres in major cities around the world has concluded the answer to that question is HELL YES.
And one of the biggest factors determining how hot a particular neighbourhood got was (drumroll) the amount of vegetation cover in that area. According to this Forbes article, the hottest spots had less than 6% vegetation cover, while the coolest spots in most cities had over 70% and were found almost entirely in parks.
THIS is why I keep saying we should rip up 30% (or more) of the roads in most cities and replace them with tree-lined nature paths where people can walk and ride their bikes. We need the trees and green space to cool the cities and provide an alternate mode of getting around that doesn't rely on cars. Plus if everyone spent more time in nature and less time in cars and traffic, I guarantee you the world would be a much happier place.