Unquestionably, urbanization causes tremendous changes in land cover and land use, as well as impacting a host of environmental characteristics. For example, unlike natural surfaces, urban surfaces have very different thermal energy properties whereby they store solar energy throughout the day and continue to release it as heat well after sunset. This effect, known as the 'Urban Heat Island', ... [Show full abstract] serves as a catalyst for chemical reactions from vehicular exhaust and industrial activities leading to the deterioration in air quality, especially exacerbating the production of ground level ozone. 'Cool Community' strategies that utilize remote sensing data, are now being implemented as a way to reduce the impacts of the urban heat island and its subsequent environmental impacts. This presentation focuses on how remote sensing data have been used to provide descriptive and quantitative data for characterizing the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area - particularly for measuring surface energy fluxes, such as the thermal or "heat" energy that emanates from different land cover types across the Atlanta urban landscape. In turn, this information is useful for developing a better understanding of how the thermal characteristics of the city surface affect the urban heat island phenomena and, ultimately, air quality and other environmental parameters over the Atlanta metropolitan region. Additionally, this paper also provides insight on how remote sensing, with its synoptic approach, can be used to provide urban planners, local, state, and federal government officials, and other decision-makers, as well as the general public, with information to better manage urban areas as sustainable environments.