In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Yorkers have faced another deadly threat this summer — extreme heat. More Americans die every year from extreme heat than all other natural disasters combined.
And while inequality exists in nearly every crevice of our city, it has been exacerbated during the hottest days of the year because extreme heat disproportionately impacts the same communities that have been most affected by the pandemic: low-income, people of color, and the elderly. Underserved communities are less likely to have air conditioning or afford high utility bills. Furthermore, low-income neighborhoods often have higher surface temperatures due to a lack of shade and trees and proximity to heat-attracting sites like highways and factories.