Exploring Heat in the Washington Neighborhood

Surface temperatures vary significantly depending on shade and materials.

Exploring Heat in the Washington Neighborhood

Long Beach, like many cities in Southern California, is feeling the impacts of climate change such as extreme heat and more frequent heat waves. This project focuses on conditions that impact or contribute to the Urban Heat Island Effect in the Washington Neighborhood. Using this neighborhood as a case study, this project will generate a toolkit of strategies that can be used to help cool not only these neighborhoods, but others throughout Long Beach.

Before determining what the best cooling strategies are, the first step is to understand and assess the specific heat-related issues affecting communities. The first step of this project has been to analyze data to understand where in the community it is hottest and why. In general areas shaded by trees or planted with grass are coolest, while paved areas like roads and sidewalks are hottest. The image to the left shows surface temperature readings collected in these two neighborhoods during the recent heat wave in October 2020 and found grassy shaded areas to be as much as 54°F cooler than unshaded paved areas. This tells us the materials and landscape can make a big difference in terms of heat and how people experience Long Beach.