Urban Heat Island
In 2020, heat-related deaths in Maricopa County were reported to be fifteen times higher than in 2001. This is partially due to the worsening heat island effect perpetuated through indiscriminate use of concrete, glass, and metal. These materials radiate heat from the sun, rather than reflecting it away, creating an urban “heat island” with higher temperatures than natural landscapes. The increased temperatures create a multitude of issues that impact not only the people living in the heat island, but the environment as well. Reducing the urban heat island effect is not a simple task, but possible solutions include: increasing outdoor green spaces, installing sunlight-absorbing solar panels and canopies, and paving over existing asphalt with treatments designed to reduce heat absorption. It is important to recognize the sweeping impact the urban heat island effect has on people living in urban areas so that impactful and timely solutions can be put into place.
Casey Beauparlant is a graphic designer currently based in Tempe, Arizona. She solves design problems by considering the specific circumstances of each situation and developing visual elements from there. She values play and free creative exploration throughout her design process and is passionate about discovering unique ways to combine elements into cohesive and dynamic designs.