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Redlining and Climate Change

Author(s): Mary Heskel

Macalester College

738 total view(s), 309 download(s)

Description

Redlining and Climate Change is a resource that can be done completely remotely and was adapted in April 2020 for two classes taught post-COVID.

The introductory resources and readings focus on defining redlining and the impacts of urban tree canopy cover on mitigating temperatures. These can be assigned in addition to a short lecture on how urban ecological systems work and the drivers of urban heat island effect. 

The worksheet is based around a few resources, including Hoffman et al. 2020, a paper that shows trends in impervious surface cover, land surface temperature, and canopy cover in cities that were historically redlined in the US. It has students interpret findings, write a plain language abstract, and also explore redlining and inequity in highway building in the Twin Cities. 

Finally, there is an optional extension of the activity to include a more 'solutions-driven' perspective, where students work individually or in small teams to develop a 'bid' to create greenspace in a historically red-lined neighborhood to promote environmental justice and mitigate the impacts of climate change in the neighborhood. 

Comments

  1. Tamara Basham @ on   (Edited: @ on )

    This activity is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you for sharing it! I'll let you know how it goes with my Environmental Science Course this Fall. 

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      Mary Heskel @ on

      Great to hear! It is imperfect, so looking forward to seeing how it gets adapted and improved over time with many people using it. Let me know how it goes - I think it was eye-opening for many ecology students. 

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        Tamara Basham @ on

        Mary,

        I just posted the resource that your work inspired as an adaptation of your work. I took it in a different direction - focusing on tree cover. Thanks again. I used several of your resources and some of your discussion ideas.

        Best regards,

        Tamara

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          Mary Heskel @ on

          That sounds great - thank you for letting me know. There have been so many related publications and media pieces on this topic in the past year - I'll have to update as well. It could easily be a week-long unit or more for different EnvSci/Ecology classes. 
          Mary

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