We look at an art project that launches Friday on an empty lot on Roosevelt Row. Handmade blankets will cover the lot, then be given to homeless agencies in the Valley.
Study: Wealthier valley residents have more shade
Phoenix is a great place to study climate change, scientists say -- because it's hot here in a way that they predict other American cities soon will be. Arizona State University researchers have released a study that says we're not all going to be hit with the effects of urban heating equally. From Phoenix, Devin Browne reports.
A home in south Phoenix. ASU researchers found that the availability of foilage and vegetation -- and the cooling effests they provide -- now tracks with income. In 1970, there was no relationship. (Photo courtesy of Chris Martin)
DEVIN BROWNE: Urban ecologist Chris Martin and team crunched 30 years worth of census data and satellite imagery -- and found that wealthier people in Phoenix don't just have more money. They also have more trees. This is new. In 1970, there was no relationship between tree-accessibility and income. Martin's response to this finding?
CHRIS MARTIN: Shocked. Yes, obviously I was shocked.
DEVIN BROWNE: Martin says this is about more than just aesthetics. Vegetation -- and the cooling effects it provides -- helps mitigate against heat-related costs like air conditioning bills and heat-related illnesses, like heat stroke.
CHRIS MARTIN: People in these higher economic neighborhoods have to begin to realize that it’s to their advantage to see that these lower socio-economic neighborhoods are vegetated. Because collectively as a society, we’re paying for these issues, the health-related problems that are caused by this are borne by the entire population.
DEVIN BROWNE: The City of Phoenix seems to agree. It has set an ambitious goal of covering at least 25 percent of the city in a canopy of trees by 2030 -- ideally with heat-tolerant, low water-use vegetation. Currently, only 12 percent of Phoenix is shaded.