UrbanHeatATL, a project lead by professors at Georgia Tech and Spelman College including our very own Dr. Na'Taki Osborne Jelks, maps temperatures within Atlanta with the help of students and community-citizen scientists. The project was recently featured in an article by WABE "UrbanHeatATL Is Mapping Atlanta’s Temperatures To Help Those In Danger Of The Heat."
Check out what the article says about the inequities in heat effects, and read the full article here.
It’s not news that Atlanta is hot. Hotter, even, than surrounding rural areas. The phenomenon called the urban heat island effect has been known for decades. Cities are hotter because they have more dark, hard surfaces like concrete and buildings, and fewer trees and other plants that help cool the air.
But even within Atlanta’s heat island, some places are hotter than others. Through this project, Kiernicki is helping to capture the texture of Atlanta’s heat.
Na’Taki Osborne Jelks, an environmental and health science professor at Spelman says the goal is to figure out which communities are in the most danger from heat, and how to help protect them as temperatures continue to rise.
“We know that there are certain populations that are disproportionately affected,” she says.
A study done in 2019 found that redlined neighborhoods — places where people were subject to discriminatory and racist housing policies – are, in many cities, also the hottest.
Jelks says that may not end up being exactly the case here in Atlanta. Southwest Atlanta, for instance, is still largely Black, but also has a lot of tree cover. But neighborhoods closer to Downtown and around the Atlanta University Center, she says, she has hunches about. A separate research project led by University of Georgia scientists is also looking at potential parallels between redlining and urban heat in Atlanta.
Read the full article here.