Climate Safe Neighborhoods

The climate crisis threatens to make our communities hotter and wetter than they have ever been before, but not all neighborhoods within a city will suffer the social, health, and financial consequences equally. Many neighborhoods subject to government-sanctioned racist housing practices in the 1930s and 1940s are most at risk today for experiencing extreme heat and flooding.

Extensive impermeable pavement and sparse tree canopies increase the risk of flooding and amplify the heat island effect. Our neighborhoods do not look the way they do by accident, and the mitigation measures needed to reduce risk will not appear by accident. The Climate Safe Neighborhoods partnership brings together Groundwork Trusts across the country to explore the relationship between historical race-based housing segregation and the current and predicted impacts of climate change.

This interactive map shows the relationship between historic redlining, heat islands, tree canopy, and impervious surface in Yonkers, NY.

Groundwork Hudson Valley has compiled, mapped and organized available data related to heat intensity across Yonkers, while adding GIS layers related to demographics, health, and environmental risks, which will be compared to other cities in the partnership. Technical support is being provided by the New School Urban Systems Lab, the City of Yonkers, Sarah Lawrence College Department of Economics, Groundwork USA, Westchester County, CAPA Strategies, and NASA DEVELOP.

The data will be used to engage community, business, and government stakeholders in a shared effort to identify and prioritize mitigation efforts to abate the worst impacts of extreme heat and flooding.

Check out our latest press release on this exciting project!