The Racial/ethnic Distribution of Heat Risk-Related Land Cover in Relation to Residential Segregation

By Jesdale, Bill M.; Morello-Frosch, Rachel et al. | Environmental Health Perspectives, July 2013 | Go to article overview

The Racial/ethnic Distribution of Heat Risk-Related Land Cover in Relation to Residential Segregation


Jesdale, Bill M., Morello-Frosch, Rachel, Cushing, Lara, Environmental Health Perspectives


In the United States, extreme heat events are responsible for about one in five natural hazard deaths (Borden and Cutter 2008). Because of climate change, many cities are expected to become warmer [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007] with "more intense, more frequent, and longer lasting" heat waves (Meehl and Tebaldi 2004). Furthermore, studies of extreme heat have shown large racial disparities in heat-related deaths (Greenberg et al. 1983; Jones et al. 1982; Kaiser et al. 2007; O'Neill et al. 2005; Schwartz 2005), although this is not universally the case (Ramlow and Kuller 1990; Weisskopf et al. 2002), and in at least one case, whites have been more affected than minority groups (Ellis et al. 1975). Land cover characteristics may contribute to these disparities (Uejio et al. 2011). Urban tree canopy is an important local mitigating factor for extreme heat (Hart and Sailor 2009; Oke et al. 1989), and impervious surfaces play a primary role in creating urban heat island effects (Oke 1982).

Urban trees provide several environmental amenities (Givoni 1991), including shade on hot days (Scott et al. 1999), reductions in wastewater loads on treatment facilities (Keim et al. 2006), and reduced air pollution (Hwang et al. 2011; Nowak 1994) and noise pollution (Samara and Tsitsoni 2011) from vehicular traffic. Research also suggests that urban trees are associated with reduced all-cause mortality after adjustment for neighborhood deprivation (Mitchell et al. 2011), and green spaces are associated with many positive health outcomes (Lee and Maheswaran 2010), including improved pregnancy outcomes (Dadvand et al. 2012). Studies in the United States have documented racial/ethnic disparities in urban tree canopy, usually in the direction of racial/ethnic minorities living in neighborhoods with lower tree coverage (Heynen et al. 2006; Landry and Chakraborty 2009; Lowry et al. 2012; Ogneva-Himmelberger et al. 2009; Perkins and Heynen 2004; Zhang et al. 2008), but some counterexamples exist (Boone et al. 2010; Troy et al. 2007). Empirical evidence does not support the notion that cultural preferences explain observed disparities in tree cover (Martin et al. 2004; Zhang et al. 2007). Most existing research on racial disparities in tree canopy has been conducted within single metropolitan areas (Boone et al. 2010; Heynen et al. 2006; Landry and Chakraborty 2009; Lowry et al. 2012; Troy et al. 2007; Zhang et al. 2008). To our knowledge, no study has examined this issue nationally or assessed the role that residential segregation plays in driving distributions of urban tree coverage among racial/ethnic groups in the United States.

Impervious surfaces, such as asphalt and concrete, contribute to urban heat islands and surface temperatures via their high heat capacity, thermal conductivity, and often low reflectance of solar radiation (Asaeda et al. 1996; Stathopoulou et al. 2009). Relative to vegetation and soil, impervious surface also reduces evapo-transporative cooling. Fine-scale, remotely sensed data has shown that impervious surfaces are important predictors of intra-urban variation in temperature (Weng and Lu 2008; Yuan and Bauer 2007; Zhang et al. 2011), and the degree of impervious surfaces generally increases with population density (Lu et al. 2006; Morton and Yuan 2009). Several authors have also found that the extent of impervious surface is greater in neighborhoods with low socioeconomic status and a high proportion of minority residents, although these studies have been limited to a single U.S. city or state (Huang et al. 2011; Li and Weng 2007; Ogneva-Himmelberger et al. 2009).

Examining disparities in land cover characteristics on a national scale could provide guidance for targeted climate change adaptation efforts to reduce future heat-related risks in U.S. urban areas. In the present study, we examined urban tree canopy and impervious surface land cover in relation to race/ ethnicity and residential segregation across hundreds of urban areas in the United States and Puerto Rico, controlling for biophysical factors that may explain regional variation in tree growth, such as rainfall patterns and ecological region (e. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Racial/ethnic Distribution of Heat Risk-Related Land Cover in Relation to Residential Segregation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.