The City Heat Project

Is it getting hotter around here, or is it just us?


California just had five of the hottest years on record. How are we adapting to them?


Poorly-adapted housing

“I really do think that government potentially has a role in making sure buildings are safe,” says Cyndy Comerford. “We do that structurally. We make sure they’re not too cold. We ought to make sure they're not too hot, too.”

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Neighborhood Heat

UC Berkeley environmental scientist Rachel Morello-Frosch found in a national study that, “in general, people of color…in urban areas are more likely to live in high heat island risk neighborhoods compared to their white counterparts.”

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Locally-gathered data

Our little sensors took readings of temperature only, or temperature and humidity, inside 31 homes – 24 hours a day, over periods of 2 to 3½ weeks, in 10 cities and four counties. The blue iButton sensors we borrowed from Arizona State University recorded temperature and humidity every 10 minutes, and yellow ones recorded temperature every 20 minutes.

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Heat at work

“This will probably be one of the most comprehensive safety standards to protect workers against heat,” said UCSF’s Dr. Robert Harrison, who formerly sat on the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board.

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What Californians are telling us about heat.