Heat Mitigation through Green Infrastructure
Betsy Wilkening, Education Program Coordinator, Arizona Project WET
Ladd Keith, Assistant Professor of Planning and Chair, Sustainable Built Environments
Nicole Iroz-Elardo, PhD, Assistant Research Professor, Planning Degree Program
Kirk Dimond, Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture
Penelope Cottrell-Crawford, Graduate Student, Landscape Architecture
This year, Tucson, the 3rd fastest warming city in the U.S., experienced its 2nd hottest summer on record and 11th straight summer ranked in the top ten hottest. Urban infrastructure—buildings, pavement, etc.—exacerbates extreme heat risk. Arizona Project WET (APW) and Watershed Management Group (WMG) started the Recharge the Rain (RtR) project in Tucson in 2017 to build community resilience to local climate impacts. The RtR project has worked with middle and high school teachers and their students to design, install, and monitor school rain gardens to harvest the rain and sustain native shade trees. Researchers from College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture coproduced a heat monitoring protocol we use to compare the efficacy of these landscapes to conventional landscaping in terms of heat reduction at the microscale. Preliminary results will be discussed along with plans to continue monitoring at the schools.
Betsy Wilkening provides AZ Project WET educational programs to K-12 teachers and students in the Tucson area. Ladd Keith’s research explores how policy innovation in local governance can make more sustainable and climate-resilient cities. Nicole Iroz-Elardo studies the design of public spaces that increase physical and mental health and support equitable, sustainable communities. Kirk Dimond’s teaching and research include integration of renewable energy into the built environment. Penelope Cottrell-Crawford is completing a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture and a Certificate of Heritage Conservation.