Redlining & Urban Heat: A Lesson in Climate Change


A recent study from Yale University found that there is a link between redlining and climate change. How could this be? As city planners make decisions about how to organize their cities, the height and density of the buildings, and the color of the rooftops all impact the temperature in the cities. When we combine the fact that urban centers are often places with few trees and thus lower oxygen production, the combination of air quality and heat can cause problems for urban schools.


Redlining, the process of using discriminatory lending practices when selling homes, is not something most people traditionally talk about when discussing climate change. However, if racial bias plays a role in how people get loans to buy houses, then the climate of the neighborhoods people live in might be connected to where people are given opportunities to live. Does this make sense? Well, this lesson teaches the basic aspects of climate change, while also teaching how the results of climate change impact people in urban communities in different ways as a result of redlining lending practices. This lesson is 3 days long and includes videos, original research readings, and provides the teacher with 3 laboratory options.  All the links for the videos and labs is embedded in the teacher’s lesson plan.





Yale Research Study


New York Study on Urban Heat Index


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