Escaping extreme heat in Los Angeles: What makes one park cooler than another?

The first two weeks of July of 2023 have seen a constant stream of anxiety-provoking news headlines pointing to record-breaking heat in metropolitan areas around the United States. Unfortunately, these headlines leave little work for me to do in justifying the importance and urgency of studying measures to protect the public from extreme heat. 

My name is Aviva Wolf-Jacobs, and broadly speaking, I am interested in how urban green space can be used as a tool to promote public health and environmental justice in cities. For the purposes of my work, the term urban green space refers to trees, parks, grass, and other types of vegetation or natural greenery lining streets or inhabiting open spaces in metropolitan regions.

As a PhD student in the Population, Health and Place program at USC, I work with Dr. John Wilson from the Spatial Sciences Institute in the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and Dr. Rima Habre from the Population and Public Health Sciences department at the Keck School of Medicine. My dissertation research looks to zoom in on the urban green space happenings around Los Angeles as they relate to health, wellness, and social equity in the context of climate change. 

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