New online mapping tool helps the state prepare for extreme heat: “Last summer was the hottest in California’s history. And as this summer kicks off, we’re bracing for more record-breaking temperatures. Heat is the deadliest effect of climate change in California. While it affects everyone, it disproportionately impacts low-income residents and communities of color. “Heat is an equity issue. Neighborhood by neighborhood, we’re going to be experiencing heat differently,” said Colleen Callahan, co-executive director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation. “That’s why it’s important to identify where protections are most needed, and where they’ll have the biggest impact.” A new tool does just that. The California Healthy Places Index (HPI): Extreme Heat Edition helps the state ramp up its efforts to prepare for rising temperatures — visualizing where and who will be most affected in the coming decades. It was developed through a joint partnership between the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and Public Health Alliance of Southern California. The tool allows users to explore several questions:
- How hot will it get? As the climate changes, how many days are temperatures expected to soar above 90°F in your community? What about 100°F?
- Who is vulnerable? Certain groups — such as children, older adults, and people with a disability — can be particularly sensitive to extreme heat. The tool shows where these at-risk populations may be most susceptible to heat risks based on where they live.
- How resilient is my community? Community conditions like shady trees, parks, and clean air factor into the well-being of a neighborhood. Detailed data allows you to assess your community’s resilience to climate change.
- What types of resources are available? Many funding programs exist to prepare for rising temperatures. The tool illustrates state level resources, like programs that provide air conditioners to low-income households and fund local urban greening…”