Close Subscribe

Get the Weekly Recap!!

Get recaps, exclusive offers, stories and discounts. We’ll never share your email address and you can opt out at any time, we promise.
Philadelphia Releases 1st Plan to “Beat the Heat” in Hunting Park
News

Philadelphia Releases 1st Plan to “Beat the Heat” in Hunting Park

“Extreme heat is not just an environmental issue, but it is an issue of equity and social justice as well.” – Mayor Kenney

This Wednesday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and City government officials marked the release of Philly’s first-ever Community Heat Relief Plan alongside community partners with a celebration in Hunting Park neighborhood. Part of the “Beat the Heat” program organized by the city’s Office of Sustainability, the plan is part of a project to understand how residents of Hunting Park are coping with extreme heat, the tools they need to better cope, and the changes they would like to see in their community to make it cooler in the present and future.

The Beat the Heat pilot project began in the summer of 2018 as a collaboration between City agencies and Hunting Park organizations, residents, and community groups such as Esperanza, Hunting Park Neighborhood Advisory Committee, Hunting Park United, Lenfest Center, and North10 Philadelphia. “The Beat the Heat Initiative is the latest in a series of strategies that originated with Esperanza’s 10-year neighborhood plan, completed in 2012, to protect and enhance the environment for residents.” David Ortiz, Vice President of Housing and Economic Development at the faith-based nonprofit organization Esperanza, which aims to strengthen Hispanic communities through education, economic development, and advocacy.

“Though not always obvious, surface temperature varies throughout the city. The hottest neighborhoods tend to be predominantly low income Black and Latinx communities.”

Mayor Kenney

Spoiler: Climate Change Will Increase the Number of days above 95* F by a LOT.

Hunting Park Climate Change Heat days

According to the Office of Sustainability’s report, the city has had the three hottest summers on record since 2010. Currently, the city experiences about four days annually above 95 degrees. However, the number could increase and the city could have as many as 52 days over 95 degrees F by 2100 due to climate change.

Summer Heat = Stagnant Air

And that’s not all for climate change. According to a new report from Climate Central, hot air can actually TRAP air pollutants in the lower atmosphere, which is called stagnation.

What does that mean to you? Essentially, more particulates are in hot air which can cause health problems from respiratory distress to eye irritation.

Climate Central heat and stagnant air

As you can see, there’s been an increase of stagnant days in Philly over the past 45 years. By late century, an increase of 40+ days of stagnant days are anticipated.

Stagnant days on US map climate central

The Heat Island Health Effects on Hunting Park

According to Ortiz, Hunting Park has a large population of children alongside one of the highest rates of asthma in the city. This combination places the neighborhood’s population at a high risk for dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. To help address this and other issues influenced by high temperatures, the Hunting Park Community Heat Relief Plan was informed by over five hundred surveys collected from the community in both Spanish and English, a cross-departmental City working group known as the City Heat Team, thirty community partners, and five Community Heat Ambassadors.

Recommendations from the plan fall under three main categories:

  1. Staying cool and safe at home
  2. Staying cool and safe in public spaces
  3. Greening and tree planting

Esperanza has sponsored yard tree giveaways and planted trees along sidewalks to help reduce heat, lower utility bills, and create healthier outcomes for neighborhood residents.

Want to learn more about the city’s work?


Photos: Office of Sustainability

Become a Supporter!

If you love what we do you can support our mission with a one-time or monthly contribution.
array(4) {
  [0]=>
  object(WP_Term)#3766 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(3702)
    ["name"]=>
    string(13) "Beat the Heat"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(13) "beat-the-heat"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(3710)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(1)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [1]=>
  object(WP_Term)#3765 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(3703)
    ["name"]=>
    string(9) "Esperanza"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(9) "esperanza"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(3711)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(1)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [2]=>
  object(WP_Term)#3767 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(3356)
    ["name"]=>
    string(12) "Hunting Park"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(12) "hunting-park"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(3364)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(3)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [3]=>
  object(WP_Term)#3831 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(548)
    ["name"]=>
    string(24) "Office of Sustainability"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(24) "office-of-sustainability"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(551)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(20)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
}
Avatar
Madeleine Jones, who goes by her last name, is the Editorial Intern at Green Philly. She is new to Philadelphia and recently graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, with a bachelor's in Environmental Studies and International Studies. Jones spends her free time with her nose buried in books, sampling Philly's vegan restaurants, fawning over her pet mouse, and filling out job applications. View all posts by Jones

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Green Philly

Featured
In These
Great Spots: