FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 9, 2022
RTC heat vulnerability study recognized with national award; heat-related efforts to continue this summer
Study finds valley’s urban core and east side communities most vulnerable to extreme heat
LAS VEGAS – The American Planning Association (APA) recently recognized the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada’s (RTC) Southern Nevada Extreme Heat Vulnerability Analysis study with the Quality of Life Award from its Sustainable Communities Division for Excellence in Sustainability. The Quality of Life Award honors a plan, project, or initiative that is focused on improving the health and well-being of a community.
The Southern Nevada Extreme Heat Vulnerability Analysis – completed in late 2021 in conjunction with local public health experts, planners, and researchers – highlights heat’s negative effects on the community and identifies areas in the region with populations most vulnerable to extreme heat. Southern Nevada’s urban core and east side are home to populations most vulnerable to extreme heat and these areas include many of our valley’s older neighborhoods.
“While everyone is affected by the intense desert heat, the study identified which populations are more at risk due to environmental, demographic, socioeconomic, and physiological factors,” said MJ Maynard, RTC chief executive officer. “Taking this comprehensive and multidimensional approach helps to ensure that interventions developed as a result of the analysis will target those most at risk while taking equity and environmental justice into account.”
With the knowledge gained from this study, the RTC and its partners are working now to identify opportunities to beat the heat.
The RTC will further research extreme heat and its impacts through a survey of transit riders and as part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) annual Urban Heat Island Mapping Campaign, both launching this summer. The RTC also intends to use the study results to work with agency partners to help secure grant funding for future infrastructure improvements, including cool pavement, urban tree canopy expansion and bus shelter design, as well as other initiatives that take the health and safety of transit riders into consideration.
The complete Southern Nevada Extreme Heat Vulnerability Analysis report and access to the heat vulnerability interactive map can be found on the RTC’s website.
About the RTC
The RTC is the transit authority, designated metropolitan planning organization, regional traffic management agency and administrator of the Southern Nevada Strong comprehensive regional plan for the Las Vegas valley. The RTC’s vision is to advance regionally transformative mobility solutions through equitable, innovative and sustainable infrastructure development. The RTC’s mission is to elevate quality of life for residents and visitors through sustainable planning, collaborative problem-solving, and safe and equitable transportation service. For more information about the RTC and its major initiatives or to download its transit app rideRTC, visit rtcsnv.com and stay informed by subscribing to our blog.