City Designing Support for Extreme Heat Events

Climate change is increasing the frequency and duration of extreme heat events in the Pacific Northwest. This will affect the health of many of our residents including the elderly, the very young, and people with allergies, asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Living in areas where the air quality is poor will exacerbate this risk.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has identified Chinatown/International District and Southeast Seattle as “highly impacted communities”— locations characterized by degraded air quality, and whose residents face economic or historic barriers to participation in clean air decisions and solutions.

To better understand how the city can support residents in Chinatown/International District and Rainier Beach before and during extreme heat events, the Office of Sustainability & Environment, Public Health Seattle & King County, and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency collaborated to convene focus groups of residents in these neighborhoods which met in late October and provided a wealth of information.

City staff are now reviewing and analyzing the results to help us determine how City resources can be directed to support these communities as extreme heat events become more common. The Office of Sustainability & Environment will bring agency staff together to identify what actions we can take based on this information and we will be sharing these ideas with the community to find out if we are hitting mark and to continue the conversation. For more information on this project, please contact Sara Wysocki, 206.233.7014