Increasing urban temperatures pose a public health threat, especially for the poor, those with pre-existing health conditions, and those living in areas with little to no vegetation. There is a disparity among Phoenix neighborhoods regarding access to cooling benefits in the urban landscape. City-wide spending for cooling interventions can be socially and geographically inequitable, residents may be unable to afford to operate cooling systems, and underserved communities are less likely and/or able to advocate for heat reducing solutions. The Nature's Cooling Systems project can empower underserved communities, identify and create community leaders, and build awareness about heat-reducing solutions, with the goal of shifting those dynamics.The Nature's Cooling Systems project tackles heat at the neighborhood scale to collaboratively develop heat action plans that reflect local knowledge and community identity. The community heat action plans outline neighborhood context-specific solutions to combat the effects of extreme heat. The Nature's Cooling Systems project was piloted in three metropolitan neighborhoods in partnership with community residents, The Nature Conservancy, Arizona State University, community based organizations, city officials, and the public health department. This presentation will discuss the participatory processes and methods used to engage residents and other stakeholders. Storytelling wisdom and evidence-based research were used to understand current and future challenges residents face during extreme heat events. A series of workshops was developed, designed to build awareness, social capital, and agency for under-represented populations, and to facilitate appropriate interventions in the hottest and highest-need neighborhoods. Examples of solutions proposed by residents include creating cooler pedestrian routes, adding shade structures at bus stops, and developing a heat safety training program. This participatory process will serve as a model for community-driven heat mitigation and adaptation planning in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area and other cities facing increasing heat.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2018
- 0240 Public health;
- GEOHEALTHDE: 6319 Institutions;
- POLICY SCIENCESDE: 6699 General or miscellaneous;
- PUBLIC ISSUES