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Extreme Heat Events Phoenix Arizona, USA


Urban heat islands are becoming an increasing threat to the health of residents with rising temperatures due to climate change. Phoenix AZ is one of the fasts growing cities in the United States and the state of Arizona has three to seven times more heat related deaths than the United States overall from 1993-2002 [1].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Extreme Heat Events Phoenix Arizona, USA
Country:translation missing: en.countries.united_states_of_america
State or province:Arizona
Location of conflict:Phoenix
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Climate change related conflicts (glaciers and small islands)
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Project area:466,198
Type of populationUrban
Start of the conflict:01/01/1980
Relevant government actors:Health and Human Services, HUD, NOAA, EPA, Arizona Department of Health Services,
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Mostly academic studies at this point. Activist involvement is limited and many organizations focus on services to the vulnerable communities. Arizona State University, Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services, Phoenix Heat Relief Network
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageUnknown
Groups mobilizing:Neighbours/citizens/communities
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Media based activism/alternative media
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Global warming
Health ImpactsVisible: Other Health impacts
Potential: Other environmental related diseases
Other Health impactsHigh asthma rates and heat stroke
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Application of existing regulations
Development of alternatives:Park development, cooling centers, heat health related education
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:There has still be very little concrete action taken on this issue at a state or city level.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Arizona Heat Emergency Response Plan
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Ruddell, Darren , Sharon Harlan, Susanne Grossman-Clarke, and Alexander Buyantuyev. "Risk and Exposure to Extreme Heat in Microclimates of Phoenix, AZ." In Geospatial techniques in urban hazard and disaster analysis. Dordrecht: Springer, 2010. 179-202.

News article from summer of 2005 when the heat wave was responsible for 11 deaths
[click to view]

News article form record breaking temperatures during summer of 2013
[click to view]

Grossman-Clarke, Susanne, Joseph A. Zehnder, Thomas Loridan, and C. Sue B. Grimmond. "Contribution of Land Use Changes to Near-Surface Air Temperatures during Recent Summer Extreme Heat Events in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area." Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 49, no. 8 (2010): 1649-1664.

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

ICLEI - Preparing for the Health Impacts of Increased Heat: Meeting Notes and Presentations From Phoenix Workshop
[click to view]

Other comments:This is one of the top 40 influential environmental justice cases in the United States identified from a national survey of environmental activists, scholars and other leaders by graduate students at the University of Michigan
Meta information
Contributor:Katy Hintzen, [email protected], University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment
Last update07/05/2015
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