New Jersey just experienced its second-hottest summer on record, yet another sign of how climate change has intensified temperatures across the Garden State. But people in urban areas — which tend to lack greenery to break up the concrete landscapes — are more regularly exposed to dangerous heat than folks in suburban and rural areas.
Cities across the country have been working to keep senior citizens safe during heat waves by opening cooling centers (trickier to operate during a pandemic), distributing free air conditioners and even by dispatching teams of nurses to check on them. Poverty is the biggest challenge.
Clinton Andrews, director of the Rutgers University Center for Green Building, said that seniors in low-income areas may not be able to afford to run their air conditioners.