Heat Islands in the Quad Cities Pose Safety Risk
Research by a senior at Augustana College has found an environmental hazard that disproportionately affects low-income residents in the Quad Cities. Tuesday, Mark Teschke will present his findings to the Transportation Technical Committee of the Bi-State Regional Commission.
He found higher temperatures in urban areas called heat islands, compared to rural areas. There was a temperature difference of 5 degrees.
"In comparison to tornados or earthquakes or something, heat kills the most people out of all of those. I think a lot of the health related aspects from an increase in heat just kind of leaves those people more vulnerable."
The areas with the greatest difference in temperature were in Rock Island and Davenport, near the river. These are areas with a higher number of lower income residents.
Teschke says one way to address heat islands is to create more green space.
"I definitely think that implanting vegetation in those areas would probably be the best start to trying to mitigate those temperature differences."
Teschke, a senior majoring in geography and environmental studies, chose Quad Cities heat islands for his research following a study by a previous Augustana student who looked at heat islands in general.