In the summer of 2022, University of Tennessee researchers teamed up with community members to map what are called urban heat islands, areas that can be up to 20 degrees hotter than nearby rural areas. This city-wide heat mapping campaign involved volunteer citizen scientists who mapped areas in Knoxville where excessive heat may occur, using specifically-designed heat sensors mounted on their own cars and drove through their neighborhoods in the morning, afternoon and evening on an appointed day in late August, 2022.
Knoxville was one of 14 U.S. cities chosen to participate in the 2022 Heat Mapping Campaign supported by the NOAA Climate Program Office and CAPA Strategies LLC. Cities from past campaigns have used their heat island maps to develop heat action plans, add cooling stations to bus shelters, educate residents and policymakers and inform new research.
Why map heat inequities in Knoxville?
In many cities across the U.S., the hottest areas tend to be the poorest and disproportionately communities of color. The data from the campaign provides greater public awareness of heat and climate risks in Knoxville and essential information to develop policies and practices that mitigate heat islands and address inequitable distribution of urban heat risk.
Read Knoxville’s Heat Mapping Report Below