A study of 108 cities in the US finds that poor neighborhoods as hot as 12.6 degrees Fahrenheit can be hotter or richer due to lack of trees and green spaces
- A new study looked at ground temperature data for 108 cities in the US
- It compares the average temperature in areas that had a history of redevelopment
- Redlining was a racist policy used from 1935 to 1986 that marked areas with high concentrations of black Americans as unsafe for investment or loan
- Areas that were previously re-aligned were 4.7 degrees Fahrenheit hotter
- Portland, Oregon had the biggest temperature difference with 12.6 degrees
A new study of average temperatures in 108 US cities shows that neighborhoods with a history of redevelopment are on average 4.7 degrees hotter than other parts of the city.
A joint project of Virginia Commonwealth University and Portland State University, the study combined satellite data that shows ground temperature for various cities, along with historical maps that showed which neighborhoods have a history of to be reinstated.
Formerly illuminated neighbors were not only consistently hotter, but in some cases reached the temperature difference in double digits.
A study of soil temperature in 108 US cities found that neighborhoods previously affected by redevelopment policies averaged 4.7 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than other areas.
Portland, Oregon had the most extreme difference between weeks, with some formerly enlightened neighbors not having temperatures as high as 12.6 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than other parts of the city.
Denver and Minneapolis both had similar differences, ranging between 10 and 12 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a report in Vice.
The practice of redeployment dates back to 1935 when the Federal Home Loan Bank Board & # 39; Security Housing Cards & # 39; commissioned to rank which parts of a city were safe for development projects or housing finances.
The safest areas were outlined in green, and the riskiest ones were outlined in red, which in practice prevented black communities in the country from accessing mortgages and other financial resources to develop their homes and neighborhoods.
The practice was eventually banned by the Fair Housing Act in 1986, but decades of underfunding and institutional discrimination have left resettled areas substantially poorer than other parts of their cities.
These areas often lack trees and parks and have denser packed plots and are covered with blackwood and concrete that reflects heat and significantly raises ground temperature.
& # 39; Trees leaves will absorb heat and some of the water contained in & # 39; a tree itself, will evaporate, causing an increase in & # 39; relative humidity and potential cooling that does not immediately surround the space, & # 39; Portland State investigator Vivek Shandas told Vice.
& # 39; While other, denser materials – such as asphalt, concrete, cinder block or even brick – will absorb and retain that heat. & # 39;
& # 39; Even after & # 39; the sun sets, they retain the heat and continue to enhance local temperature. & # 39;
Portland, Oregon was the city with the biggest temperature difference, with previously enlightened neighbors as much as 12.6 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the rest of the city. Formerly flooded areas of Denver and Minneapolis were also 10 to 12 degrees warmer
Ashton Simpson, a resident of Rosewood, a formerly redeveloped district in East Portland, described the challenges of living in the neighborhood.
& # 39; You radiate heat from the street, heat radiates from the sidewalks, heat radiates from the tops of roofs, heat radiates from the parking lots, heat radiates from cars & # 39; told Simpson Vice.
& # 39; And if you are poorly prepared and have a hot stroke and you are a person of color … it is clear that most of us are not ready for this. & # 39;
The team combined satellite temperature images with historical city maps showing regions that were previously re-drawn to reach their conclusions. Redlining was part of a ranking system implemented in 1935 that identified certain neighborhoods as risky to invest in
In early 2020, Portland amended its building code to mandate that multi-development apartment complexes cover at least 15 percent of its area for green space and gardens, but it will likely take years before the positive effects are felt.
In the meantime, residents of Rosewood and many others will reside in previously restored areas in & # 39; suffer from heat.
& # 39; If you do not go outside and you do not have air conditioning, you will be exposed to temperatures that are much warmer than directly outside your home, & # 39; said Shandas.
& # 39; Those communities have some catastrophic results if we have a heatwave coming through during this stay-at-home order. & # 39;