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About Healthy Urban Environments

PlaygroundAs urban centers across the desert Southwest continue to grow in size and density, so do the challenges posed by the expansion of the built environment. In Phoenix, AZ, this expansion of the built environment creates conditions which magnify the intensity and duration of heat – making it difficult for residents to achieve thermal comfort throughout the day and night. Further, the legacies of urban sprawl and transportation planning in the Phoenix metropolitan area have contributed to challenges with atmospheric pollutants. Importantly, urban heat and air quality issues intersect to produce negative health incomes that impact the region’s communities, particularly those who are most vulnerable and least able to adapt.

HUE is a solutions-focused research, policy and technology incubator. As such, HUE rapidly develops, tests and deploys heat-mitigation and air-quality improvement strategies and technologies. In collaboration with practitioners and community members we will create healthier communities across Maricopa County. Deploying a regenerative operational model that uses technology and policy outcomes to fertilize future research and development, HUE will translate air quality and urban heat-related research into policy action, novel technology, and commercialized intellectual property.

Our Mission

HUE’s mission is to improve thermal comfort and decrease exposure to air pollution for the citizens and communities of Maricopa County.

Our Vision

HUE is committed to engaging local municipalities, communities, and partners in industry to establish the Phoenix metropolitan area as a nationally recognized model for managing thermal comfort and air quality.

HUE Core Pillars

3D rendering of a neighborhoodHUE is composed of four core project pillars across which project activities, outputs and outcomes are organized:

  1. Research, Solutions and Innovation Incubator: HUE will initiate laboratory- and field-based projects to test novel heat and air pollution mitigation technologies.
  2. Implementation and Evaluation of New Insights in Real World Context: HUE will test new solutions developed as part of HUE-sponsored projects; conduct surveys and in-depth interviews of community members; and enable Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property licensing on all projects sponsored by HUE.
  3. Public, Workforce and Management Education: HUE will enable capacity through development and implementation of workshops for community members; create online modules to be integrated into six existing Arizona State University outreach programs; and develop material for four new workforce training programs.
  4. Communication, Networking and Solution Hub: HUE will convene workshops to share mitigation approaches, initiate new inquiries to expand on urban heat and air quality improvement strategies, and provide summative reports on relevant community strategies for interventions for urban heat and air quality.

Our Support

HUE is grateful for the support that it has received from the (MCIDA), Award #AWD00033817.