How Urban Heat Impacts Communities of Color
The harmful impacts of warming urban climates in many metropolitan areas — including Phoenix — are affecting some communities more dramatically than others. Beyond environmental changes making the urban heat island effect more intense, social, economic and political factors have contributed to the problem. A lack of resources, amenities and civic support over decades for some neighborhoods has left residents especially vulnerable to rising temperatures. Urban climate researcher Ariane Middel (pictured), a Fulton Schools assistant professor, is among those calling attention to ways in which some areas remain disproportionately burdened by increasing heat, including the scarcity of shading and protective structures and vegetation in public spaces, and use of building materials that increase radiant air temperatures.
See Also: Solutions to extreme heat can be found in our streets, Boston Globe, August 3
The article reports that a team from Arizona State University is working with the city of Phoenix on a pilot program to study the use of “cool pavement” to reduce the urban heat island effect — a phenomenon that raises temperatures in urban areas covered by asphalt and concrete. Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Ariane Middel is leading the ASU team for the project.