Too many dark surfaces, plus a shortage of trees create "Urban Heat Islands" in cities . Extreme heatworsens air quality, impacting people with respiratory conditions.
Extreme heat and poor air quality are also environmental justice issues, which disproportionately impact low-income areas and socially vulnerable populations. Sustainable Jersey City has created a Heat Watch and Air Quality Campaign and partnered with CAPA Strategies, South Ward Environmental Alliance, Groundwork Elizabeth, and Rutgers CEED/EOHSI to analyze heat and humidity conditions, and to measure air quality conditions in Newark, Jersey City, and Elizabeth.
Volunteers collected temperature and air quality data along predetermined routes in July. CAPA Strategies are analyzing the temperature data while Rutgers EOHSI is analyzing the air quality data. The visual results will be presented to the public this fall, empowering communities and municipal decision makers to take action and curb extreme heat impacts. The goal is to educate everyone and gain feedback from neighborhood stakeholders about the kinds of solutions they would like to see implemented.