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Dallas maps out heat islands to combat the effects of urban heat

Dallas maps out heat islands to combat the effects of urban heat

Dallas maps out heat islands to combat the effects of urban heat

In an effort to mitigate the impacts of extreme heat, the City of Dallas is set to expand its urban heat island mapping to approximately 245 square miles on August 10, 2024. This initiative aims to identify areas where residents are most vulnerable to elevated temperatures, which can exacerbate health risks and strain infrastructure.

During this year’s campaign, volunteers equipped with specially designed sensors will walk designated routes at three key times of the day: morning, afternoon and evening. This data collection initiative, overseen by the city’s Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability (OEQS), seeks to identify locations experiencing elevated temperatures due to the urban heat island effect.

In 2023, Dallas mapped 100 square miles of the city, focusing on neighborhoods like Kiest Park, Mountain Creek, and Lakewood. This year, they will cover additional areas, including Pleasant Grove, Buckner Terrace, and Northwest Dallas, highlighting their importance in climate resilience planning.

Urban heat islands, characterized by dense infrastructure and limited green space, can experience temperatures up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit higher than nearby cooler areas with greater tree cover and less asphalt. This disparity poses significant health risks, especially among vulnerable populations.

“This data will help us advance climate change mitigation, adaptation, environmental quality, and climate justice goals,” reads an official statement from the city’s environmental office. The mapping initiative aligns with the Dallas Comprehensive Climate and Environmental Action Plan (CECAP) and its commitment to reducing the urban heat island effect, improving green infrastructure, and promoting equity in communities.

Click here to learn more about volunteering for data collection and the city’s climate initiatives.

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