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Regional Interests

PSU professor suggests ways cities could adapt to hotter temperatures

Christy Wilding of Portland stayed overnight with her two dogs at a cooling center at the Oregon Convention Center  in Portland, June 28, 2021. The cooling center provided water, snacks, meals, blankets, and cots or mats for sleeping.
Christy Wilding of Portland stayed overnight with her two dogs at a cooling center at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, June 28, 2021. The cooling center provided water, snacks, meals, blankets, and cots or mats for sleeping.

Vivek Shandas is a professor of climate adaptation at Portland State University. His research shows that how people fare in heat waves varies greatly depending on where they live. According to Shandas, some low-income neighborhoods in Portland are more vulnerable to extreme heat because of the way buildings are constructed and configured as well as what surrounds them. If there’s more asphalt than trees, for example, that makes for even hotter temperatures during a heat wave. We talk with Shandas about what he found when he looked into the dozens of deaths that occurred during the extreme heat in June, and what we can do to create more resilience as heat waves continue to impact the region.

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Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting