Cooling and Warming Centers

Chicago, Illinois: Cooling and Warming Centers

City: Chicago
Country / US State / US Territory: Illinois
Type of Solution: Cooling and Warming Centers
Climate Impact: Extreme Temperatures and Urban Heat Island Effect
Social Value Created: Public Education and Awareness; Social Justice and Equity for Vulnerable Communities
Cost: $500,000

Extreme heat preparedness is a major focus of climate adaptation in Chicago, Illinois. In 1995, there was an extreme heat event in Chicago that killed several hundred people. As climate change progresses, extreme heat will become an even more prominent issue.

Centers have been opened to help counteract extreme temperature events. During summer months these centers act as cooling centers, and in the winter months these centers act as warming centers. The program focuses on outreach to populations vulnerable to extreme temperatures, such as the elderly.

The City partnered with the Field Museum to develop an outreach program to educate vulnerable populations on extreme temperature risks and how to prepare for extreme temperature events.

Fig: Graphic of projected urban heat island effect as a result of climate change (Image retrieved from

Fig: A woman entering a Chicago Cooling Center (Photo retrieved from

Sources: Atlas. (n.d.). Chicago Cooling Centers. Retrieved from

United States Environmental Protection Agency. (November 13, 2017). Chicago, IL adapts to improve extreme heat preparedness. Retrieved from