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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Funding Sacramento County’s Climate Action Plan

On May 12, 2020, the Environmental Council of Sacramento, 350 Sacramento and the Sierra Club Sacramento Group sent a letter to Sacramento County with concerns about funding the County’s Climate Action Plan.

We are gratified that on April 7, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to proceed with work on the County’s Climate Action Plan (CAP). However, we are concerned that the fiscal impact of the Covid-19 pandemic could make it difficult to include the CAP work, of approximately $300,000 disbursed over two fiscal years, in the County’s FY 20-21 budget.

Click here to read the letter in full.


On May 27, 2020, the Environmental Council of Sacramento, 350 Sacramento and the Sierra Club Sacramento Group sent a response letter to Sacramento County with concerns about funding the County’s Climate Action Plan.

Thank you for your prompt response to our May 12 letter on CAP funding. We appreciate your efforts to secure funding for the CAP. As reported at the County’s May 24, 2017 CAP workshop, most of the work (then $267,060 contract and $431,300 staff) was to have been funded by Long Range Planning fees. However, your response indicated funding from development project applicants instead. It isn’t clear if these are only applicants currently in the entitlement process; if so we have the following concerns.

Click here to read the letter in full.

Photo by Ron Reiring via flickr.

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Win! Sac County Commits to Climate Planning

April 8, 2020
From 350 Sacramento:

Victory! At their April 7 public hearing, the Sacramento Board of Supervisors directed staff to start work on their long-overdue Climate Action Plan (CAP). Supervisors mentioned the significant public comments they received and growing public concern over climate change. It’s taken over a year of advocacy by 350 Sacramento, ECOS, and Sierra Club to get the County to say they would do what they had committed to. Our coalition submitted numerous letters and comments, coordinated with environmental justice and faith organizations, and organized an online letter/petition email campaign that generated 94 emails to each Board member encouraging them to move the CAP forward. 350 Sacramento also provided each Supervisor copies of 350 Sacramento’s CAP Recommendations document and the book Uninhabitable Earth. We achieved a big goal, but this is just the first step. Our next challenge is to make sure adequate funds are budgeted for the CAP. Then the real work begins. Big land developers consider robust CAP measures a threat and they have political influence. To get a strong CAP we need to generate strong public support over the next year. This is a fight we can win but it won’t be easy. We’ll keep you posted on how you can help.

Image by Bessi from Pixabay

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