Overexposure to heat, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) are significant health concerns, and although preventable, deaths due to these exposures persist across U.S. populations. Children have heightened sensitivity to heat- related illnesses, thermal burns, asthma, and UV skin damage due to these interconnected exposures. Children’s heat illness is a significant concern for public health agencies, emergency responders, and hospitals, with over 950 emergency department visits for heat in Arizona for children aged from 2008–2018. Moreover, 10.9% (>174,000) Arizona youth have asthma, with many public schools located immediately adjacent to major transportation corridors (e.g., 30 Phoenix schools are within 1⁄3-mile of a major highway). The COVID pandemic has also exposed the importance of outdoor classrooms; however, these spaces must be environmentally safe and conducive for their intended use. This project will extend and amplify the existing efforts at Paideia Academies, which would benefit from additional resources to ensure that long-term air quality and microclimate monitoring can continue. It also aims to enhance these measurements with new data collection related to water use, soil temperatures, and evaporation, as questions around water often arise when heat solutions using re-greening are posed.
Healthy Urban Environments