Climate Resolve

Press Release: Community-Driven Climate Justice Project to Get Showcased on the Global Stage at COP26 Glasgow

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 2, 2021

Media Contact:

Armin Mahramzadeh, Communications Manager

amahramzadeh@climateresolve.org | 213-370-0599

Community-Driven Climate Justice Project to Get Showcased on the Global Stage at COP26 Glasgow

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The ‘Heat Equity Analysis for Bus Shelter Provision’ project, spearheaded by Climate Resolve in partnership with public agencies StreetsLA and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, community groups Pacoima Beautiful and Slate-Z, and research institution NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is one of 12 finalists to be showcased at the Climate Challenge Cup at COP26 in Glasgow on November 10, 2021.

“Rather than ad revenues determining where bus shelters should go, as has been the case in Los Angeles in the past, by bringing heat and ridership data to the forefront, we’re shaping a new equity-driven approach to protecting Angelenos from heat, which is a major local impact of climate change,” says Bryn Lindblad, Deputy Director of Climate Resolve.

Exposure to extreme heat, defined as temperatures over 95°F, can result in heatstroke, fatigue that affects student learning, spikes in workplace accidents and violent acts of aggression, cardiovascular and respiratory illness, and even death. With climate change, the frequency and severity of extreme heat days is on the rise, with some parts of Los Angeles projected to have over 100 days a year of extreme heat exposure within the next 20-40 years. Historically marginalized communities, including low-income and communities of color that were previously discriminated against with redlining practices, are still bearing the burden of racial injustice in the form of lower tree canopy cover, more paved surfaces, and with that, a more pronounced urban heat island effect, which can make temperatures 10-30°F hotter than surrounding areas.

“Bus riders deserve a more dignified experience. Today, you can find people waiting for the bus hiding behind a sliver of shade from a lamp post, or waiting down the block in some other patch of shade,” says Lindblad. “By making transit a higher-quality experience, we hope to entice additional people into the system, and in doing so, reduce the number one source of local greenhouse gas emissions, those from the tailpipes of cars.”

A bus rider waits in the shade from a utility pole near a bus stop that lacks a bus shelter.

Currently, less than 1 in 4 bus stops in the City of Los Angeles have shelters. Due to increased public salience and advocacy surrounding the showcased project, the City has committed to installing 3,000 new shelters over the next five years, achieving the target of shading 75% of all transit trips in each City Council district.

The community-driven project that is being showcased at COP26 in Glasgow next week used high-resolution heat mapping and transit ridership data to determine the priority locations for a next generation of bus shelters in Los Angeles. In-depth community engagement brought to light the overwhelming desire for better protection from the heat at bus stops, and also informed the range of additional features that could best serve transit riders to be included in future bus shelters. These potential features include real-time arrival information, variable-angled shade, hydration stations, and smog-absorbing materials.

A technology demonstration of features that could get included in the next generation of LA’s bus shelters.

The ‘Heat Equity Analysis for Bus Shelter Provision’ project is an example of equity-driven collaboration at the local scale to achieve civic innovation and respond to the urgent needs of climate justice.

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Climate Resolve