“How America’s Hottest City Will Survive Climate Change”

“On a warming planet, heat hurts communities of color more. But Phoenix is finding ways to cool down.”

“PHOENIX — High noon in America’s hottest city. The sun blazed in a cloudless sky, making the air shimmer above the softening asphalt. A thermometer registered more than 100 degrees in the shade. Not that there’s much shade to speak of in the central Phoenix neighborhood of Edison-Eastlake, hemmed in by highways and covered in scorching concrete.

Martha Ortiz knew it was not safe to be out on this recent afternoon, but the 55-year-old had an urgent errand. Though she carried a parasol and a water bottle, her legs grew weak as she made the 10-minute journey. By the time she climbed the 14 steps back to her apartment, her vision was blurry and her head spun.

Welcome to summer in Phoenix, where a cocktail of climate change and rapid development has pushed temperatures into the danger zone. The threats are greatest in black, Latino and low-income communities, which are significantly hotter than wealthier, leafier parts of the city.”

Sarah Kaplan reports for the Washington Post with photos by Cassidy Araiza July 8, 2020.