Summer Days Often Feel Much Hotter If You Live In One Of California’s Historically Redlined Neighborhoods

May 26, 2020 | By Randol White | Capital Public Radio

California’s triple-digit heat is back — and new research shows residents in the state’s most underserved neighborhoods suffer the most when the mercury rises.

Portland State University’s heat-mapping project tapped volunteers last summer in four California metro areas to attach GPS-equipped temperature collection gadgets to their cars and drive along set routes for an hour in the morning, afternoon and evening. They drove through the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Victorville and Sacramento.

The research project was led by Vivek Shandas, a professor who believes this form of heat-data collection can help city planners solve decades-old problems.

“We’re trying to bring the understanding of climate change and the changes happening on a planetary scale down to the individual person and down to the individual city block,” Shandas said.

The data collected that day indicates the temperature differentials between neighborhoods can vary by as much as 20 degrees.

Wealthy, tree-canopied neighborhoods are typically cooler, and low-income, asphalt-heavy communities run hotter.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.

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