Philadelphia’s new art program tackles urban heat problem

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Public art is being used in Philadelphia to solve the problem of urban heat.

Several prominent Philadelphia organizations are teaming up to bring attention to the importance of urban trees, through an art program called Response to heat.

“Heat Response is a two-year public art initiative where we seek to understand and amplify the lived experiences of people who are truly on the front lines of the number one killer of climate change, which is urban heat,” said Owen. Franklin, State of Pennsylvania director of the Trust for Public Land.

“We partnered with a team of artists working in three different neighborhoods in Philadelphia, who facilitate conversations with residents to understand how they experience urban heat, and then use art to reflect that experience to other residents, to policymakers and budget managers, so that we all have more information we need to develop effective solutions to deal with it.

Julianne Schrader Ortega, head of healthy neighborhoods for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, said the goal was to educate people about the importance of the city’s tree canopy through public art.

“We invite other people and welcome people into these conversations and connect with people in ways that we might not be able to do by inviting people to plant a tree in a neighborhood,” he said. she declared.

Linda Fernandez of Amber Art and Design is among the artists collecting information that will be presented through public art:

“One of the things we learned through this process is that the practice of redlining had a huge impact on how we live in our city today,” she said.

As Franklin explained, it will be up to the artists to deliver important messages.

“A neighborhood just a mile from another can have a temperature difference of 15 degrees…art can do that in a way that a data-rich document couldn’t,” he said. declared.

“Art offers a way to move people and create emotional connections, shared bonds and shared languages,” added Kelly Schindler, of the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. “Data, policy, and other types of strategies may not work the same way.”

For more on community service through art, listen to Bridging Philly:

Kayleen C. Rice