A father helps his son out of the fountain in Washington Square Park as they try to keep cool from yet another east coast heat wave.

Harlem Heat investigation launches with #ISeeChange as partner

We’re really excited to be a part of AdaptNY’s just-launched #HarlemHeat investigation. With the help of citizen observers, a coalition led by AdaptNY and WNYC will look into what it’s like to live in apartments without air conditioning in a warming world, in an urban area where heat impacts send people to the hospital and cause respiratory and other illnesses.

Project partners hope that the summer project, if successful, may serve as a model solution for one of the most vexing public health threats of our time: how to monitor the heat that vulnerable residents are experiencing inside their homes, and when to intervene to save their lives.

Harlem observers will use the dedicated investigation function of ISeeChange to record urban heat problems. In some homes, observations will include temperature and humidity gathered with DIY sensors. We’re interested not just in data, but also in what people wonder, notice, see, and remember.

“Stories and data are two sides of the same coin, and we need both to guide adaptation  decisions,” says iSeeChange founder Julia Kumari Drapkin. “The iSeeChange Tracker empowers communities to tell their own stories alongside the temperature, carbon dioxide, and weather data each season and to keep their own records of heat impacts.”

You can observe heat impacts – and share your stories with us – whether your’re in East Harlem, New York City, or anyplace else. Investigate heat impacts with us here.

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