Capital Region Urban Heat Island Mitigation Project

The Capital Region Urban Heat Island Mitigation Project, led by Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District and CivicWell, built detailed models of the UHI effect in the Sacramento region and used them to evaluate the effectiveness of a range of heat mitigation measures. These findings have been translated into strategies and recommendations to minimize the UHI effect in the Capital Region, focusing on the transportation sector and communities most vulnerable to extreme heat.

To address the UHI challenge, the project developed an advanced model of the UHI effect in the Capital Region, at local and regional scales, and for today’s conditions as well as a 2050 land use and climate scenario. The model identifies the geographic areas with the most severe UHI effect but more importantly, it evaluates the effectiveness of different potential heat mitigation measures deployed at various scales. These findings were then distilled into transportation resilience recommendations and strategies for local governments. The project team also conducted community outreach and engagement throughout the Capital Region to understand community concerns around extreme heat, transportation needs, and priorities for neighborhood and transportation improvements.

The project’s findings and recommendations can aid local governments in their overall planning for extreme heat and heat resilience for public health, land use design, urban forestry, and more. For the transportation sector, the project findings can help to improve the resilience of roadways and pavements, as well as support the health of active transportation users. These goals are in line with the State of California’s broader goals for climate resilience planning and the California Transportation Plan 2040’s goals for a vibrant multi-modal transportation system.