The Los Angeles Urban Cooling Collaborative (LAUCC) is a multi-disciplinary, national partnership of researchers and expert practitioners working with communities and government toward the goal of understanding and implementing urban cooling strategies. LAUCC completed a modeling study of current and projected heat in Los Angeles County to:

Identify geographic areas with the highest vulnerability to heat-related death;

Quantify at the County level, and at a more granular level, how various scenarios (or “prescriptions”) combining increases in tree cover and solar reflectance of roofs and pavements would impact heat- related mortality, temperature, humidity, and oppressive air masses that lead to more mortality;

Quantify the number of years that climate change-induced warming could be delayed as a result of implementing these prescriptions; and

Create a replicable framework that other cities or regions can adopt and improve upon.

We analyzed meteorological data for four historical summer heat waves against mortality data to determine the numbers of excess, heat-related deaths that occur due to common heat waves in Los Angeles. We then explored the effects that various land cover prescriptions would have on reducing temperature heat and heat-related deaths. We found that roughly one in four lives currently lost during heat waves could be saved, largely in low-income communities and communities of color. We also found that climate change-induced warming could be delayed approximately 25 to 60 years under business-as-usual and moderate mitigation scenarios, respectively.

We discuss implications for heat mitigation at the neighborhood, city, and regional level, and present approaches from around the world for how to advance heat mitigation. We share examples for how to:

Enable and establish heat-related data collection;

Raise awareness and engage communities;

Lead by example through heat mitigation policies and programs;

Offer incentives to implement heat mitigation; and

Adopt mandatory requirements and regulations to support heat mitigation.

We close with recommendations for heat-vulnerable regions, offering a wide array of entry points for individuals and entities interested in helping reduce heat-related impacts in their city.

We Will: Efficient, Climate-Friendly Cooling for All
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