Scientists examine urban heat island in low-income areas

Looking over green treetops toward downtown Phoenix

Research on urban heat island by CAP LTER researchers Darrel Jenerette, Sharon Harlan, Will Stefanov, and Chris Martin recently was featured in Wired Magazine's article "Environmental Gap Widens in Phoenix."

The Wired story focused on the researchers' findings reported in the journal Ecological Applications.

Scientists from ASU's School of Human Evolution and Social Change and ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability examined the role of vegetation in urban cooling, particularly in low-income neighborhoods experiencing extreme heat. The study was funded by a National Science Foundation grant awarded to the School.

While an increase in vegetation would ameliorate heat conditions and provide multiple ecosystem services, the authors argue that “vegetation has economic, water, and social equity implications that vary dramatically across neighborhoods and need to be managed through informed environmental policies.”

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