Prof. Aseem Prakash on Forbes, "Heat Waves Are A Local Health Hazard: Firms Should Plant Trees In Poor Neighborhoods"

Prof. Aseems Prakash and colleague Prof. Nives Dolšak on the Forbes web site:

Many areas of America are confronting a heat wave. The recent issue of the National Geographic noted: “the temperature in Phoenix hit 118°F – four degrees hotter than the previous record for the more than 40 million people endured temperatures above 100. Trees can cushion urban areas from heat waves. Trees reduce energy costs for running fans and air conditioners. A crucial issue for poor households that tend to spend a higher share of their household budgets on energy. Heat waves also mostly hurt those who work outdoors and urban residents live in poor neighborhoods.

American Forests has introduced the concept of “Tree Equity Scores.” The objective is to assess if a neighborhood has a sufficient number of trees given its demographic characteristics, health status, population density, unemployment levels, heat exposure, and the type of vegetation the area can support. Every organization should work towards addressing the tree equity gap in their zip codes, counties, and cities. Moreover, this commitment should extend to the national and international bodies in which university researchers actively participate, especially academic associations. Climate challenge certainly requires global coordination, especially on mitigation issues. But climate resilience needs a local focus. Bridging the canopy gap helps both climate and social equity goals.

Please link here for the full article.