About Melissa Guardaro, Assistant Research Professor in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University and Masavi Perea, Coalitions and Training Director for Chispa Arizona

Melissa Guardaro is an Assistant Research Professor in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. Her research focuses on adaptation, equity, vulnerability, urban policy, and governance for the mitigation and adaptation to extreme heat and urban heat island effects. She is currently working with The Nature Conservancy, the Maricopa County Public Health Department, and community-based organizations to create neighborhood heat solutions that improve thermal comfort and public health outcomes.

Masavi Perea is the Coalitions and Training Director at Chispa Arizona. Masavi Joined the League of Conservation Voters, Chispa, AZ in July of 2016. He is originally from Chihuahua Mexico. He believes that community grassroots organizing is the most effective way to empower and positively impact our families, neighborhoods, communities, and our Mother Earth. Masavi’s goals are to bring urgency to Environmental Justices issues that affect the Latinx community, and create alliances with groups and communities that are not normally part of the decisions making process.

Heat Action Planning is Tackling Urban Heat at the Hyper-Local Level

A participatory heat action planning process, Nature’s Cooling Systems, identified urban heat mitigation and adaptation strategies that focus specifically at the neighborhood scale. The framework is called the NCS Heat Action Planning Guide. The core team, consisting of The Nature Conservancy, Arizona State University, and Maricopa County Department of Health, selected three heat vulnerable communities based upon heat intensity, strong community identity, health risk factors, the presence of development projects planned or underway, and other factors. The three neighborhoods involved in heat action planning are Edison-Eastlake and Lindo-Roesley in Phoenix, and the Mesa Care neighborhood in Mesa.

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