The University of Arizona

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Dr. Gregg Garfin Receives Research Funds for "Visioning a Cooler Tucson"

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

With heat records starting to seem like an annual tradition, UArizona researchers are working hard toward developing innovative ways of adjusting to climate change and reducing the urban heat island effect in Tucson. An interdisciplinary team consisting of Drs. Gregg Garfin (SNRE), Jonathan Jae-an Crisman (Public and Applied Humanities), and Ladd Keith (Planning and Sustainable Built Environments) received funding from the Office for Research, innovation, and Impact for their proposed project: “Visioning a Cooler Tucson: Participatory Planning for Extreme Heat Resilience.”
 
Urban planners and policy makers have a choice of several adaptation strategies to address the extreme heat projected for the near future, however, which strategy is best to implement may depend on the local culture and preference. Allowing public input to direct which measures are implemented will help ensure greater participation and collaboration among city residents. Their proposed project seeks to facilitate public input on these measures through an interactive learning tool that informs citizens and provides a platform to communicate their opinion. The tool includes learning modules describing climate change effects and adaptation strategies, as well as a pre- and post- survey.
 

“We’re hoping this tool is a meeting point for all those different groups [the public, activists, and experts]. By a more nuanced understanding of culture and preference, there might be the political will to implement some adaptive strategies that might seem drastic,” Crisman says. 

 
The data collected will help inform policy-makers of public preferences, empowering the public and improving the efficacy of the implemented strategies. The tool also has potential to be modified for universal use across cities facing extreme temperatures. Read the full story here.
 
Slideshow Photo by Devin Avery on Unsplash