Austin and Community Partners Seek to Address Extreme ‘Hot Spots’ Around City

AUSTIN (KXAN) – The University of Texas and the City of Austin are researching hot spots in the city. The two groups have launched a study to determine how best to combat excessive heat in urban areas.

In places like the Mueller Development, the pedestrian space and refreshing treeline canopy entice and interest people to enjoy the outdoors, but not everyone has access.

“One of the disparities we have right now is that it is warmer in the built environment,” said Vamos Austin executive director Carmen Llanes Pulido.

Pulido operates a non-profit organization that focuses on removing barriers to a healthy lifestyle in Southeast, South, and North / Central Austin. His organization is playing a role in the study to help people access green spaces in areas where there is a lot of concrete, sidewalk and fewer plants.

“What we want to do with this project is have more of an experience,” said Marc Coudert of the City of Austin’s sustainability office.

The project examines areas where people have fewer resources and are more vulnerable to hot spots – places like the Rundberg and Saint Johns areas.

“People think climate change is something that is just starting to affect us, but these inequalities have limited access to people’s basic needs for a long time,” Pulido said.

Using satellite data, ground sensors, computer models and interviews with neighbors, researchers will develop heat maps to get a better view of the thermal landscape.

“We want to see the big picture, so we don’t want to make any decisions until we’ve talked to the community. We make sure we make the right decision, ”said Coudert.

The project will last two years. The city of Austin said some possible solutions could include planting more trees, preserving more awnings and green space, or putting up shade shelters around Capital bus stops. Subway.

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