Summary: Cooling centers are public spaces with air conditioning available during extreme heat and heatwaves. Cooling centers are critical for vulnerable populations who may not have access to air conditioning at home.
Implementation: Leverage existing infrastructure such as libraries, senior centers, and places of worship to provide temporary cool shelter for members of the public during extreme heat. Steps may include 1) identifying appropriate structures (e.g. government-owned buildings); 2) allocating funding (e.g. through community benefits agreement or grant program), and 3) providing amenities (e,g. additional community services).
Considerations for Use: Consider transportation barriers for vulnerable populations when selecting cooling centers to ensure accessibility.
- Policy Levers: The mechanism municipalities can use to actualize the intervention. These policy levers will likely be used in combination with each other.
Funding and FinancingThe allocation of public or philanthropic funding or private financing to implement projects, including risk transfer mechanisms.
- Trigger Points: Opportunities for municipalities to implement risk reduction and preparedness interventions based on the policy lever, building on the United Nations Environment Programme triggers used in the Beating the Heat handbook (2021).
City planning processesIncludes city initiatives such as the development of climate action plan, pathway to zero-energy, master plan, transit plan, energy mapping etc.No-regrets actions (low cost/low effort but substantial benefit)Interventions that are relatively low-cost and low effort (in terms of requisite dependencies) but have substantial environmental and/or social benefits.
- Intervention Type:
Disaster Risk Management , Education, Informal Settlements, Public Health, Transportation
- Target Beneficiaries:
Heat-vulnerable communities, Residents
- Phase of Impact:
Emergency response and management
Number of community members with access to cooling centers, Number of cooling centers
- Community resilience hubs (California)
- Washington DC (C40 Urban Cooling)
- Baltimore Community Resilience Hub
- Intervention Scale:
- Authority and Governance:
City government, State/provincial government
- Implementation Timeline:
Short-term (1-2 Years)
- Implementation Stakeholders:
CBOs, City government, State/provincial government
- Funding Sources:
Grants and philanthropy, private investment, Public investment
- Capacity to Act:
- Public Good:
- GHG Reduction:
- Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):
- Co-benefits (Social):
Build community capacity, Build social cohesion, Improve human health