UC-led report identifies Cincinnati’s climate indicators

Cincinnati leaders, residents can see how neighborhoods fare regarding climate factors

How is it possible that the temperature in one Cincinnati neighborhood can be 82 degrees and a mere 10 miles down the road it can be 92 degrees?

That’s because each of Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods has differing conditions that affect climate. One neighborhood, for example, might have more tall buildings that trap the heat, while another might have more tree canopy to shade residents.

But why should it matter?

Headshot of Carlie Trott. Female, white, with short dark hair.

Carlie Trott's research focus is to affect change in environmental and social problems in local settings. Photo/provided.

“We know that climate change is going to have all kinds of impact in Cincinnati. They aren’t just happening in the future, they are happening now,” says Carlie Trott, a University of Cincinnati associate professor of psychology who focuses on transformative change in environmental and social problems in local settings.

Thus, to help address Cincinnati’s climate concerns, Trott collaborated with the city of Cincinnati’s Office of Environment and Sustainability (OES) and community partners — including Green Umbrella, billed as the regional sustainability alliance of Greater Cincinnati, and nonprofit Groundwork Ohio River Valley as well as community members — to produce a Climate Equity Indicators report.

The report, available to the public on the OES website, profiles each of the city’s neighborhoods by social, economic, health and environmental indicators that intersect with climate change in some way, whether it be glass, concrete, impermeable surfaces (i.e., asphalt parking lots) or tree canopy.

“The point of the report is to be thinking about all 52 neighborhoods and allotting resources in an equitable way,” says Trott. For example, she says, if the city has an allotment for trees, dividing them equally among all the neighborhoods isn’t an equitable solution for neighborhoods where residents cannot afford air conditioning. The report, she says, is about directing resources where they are needed.

While the report is a guideline to assist the city with an updated Green Cincinnati Plan, expected to be released in 2023, it is also a resource guide for residents and community leaders.

The climate crisis acts like a risk multiplier, Trott says, which exploits vulnerabilities and makes existing problems worse. This report highlights key climate risks and the geographic, social and economic factors that should be considered in assessing vulnerability.

“This analysis will help the city and community partners develop strategies to build a more sustainable, equitable and resilient future by thinking about how we approach climate planning in a thoughtful and meaningful way.” 

Featured image at top of Cincinnati's downtown. Photo/Adobe. 

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