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It’s Always Sunny in Central LA

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Increasingly high temperatures in Southern California often result in an unequal experience to heat, with lower-income communities and communities of color disproportionately facing the negative effects of heat. Although public parks offer a prime avenue for heat mitigation, features of parks are not equally distributed. This study focuses on the central Los Angeles neighborhood of Westlake and analyzes its two largest parks: MacArthur and Lafayette park. This study finds these parks are located in areas of relatively low income, with high population density and renter-occupied housing. The project also incorporates how the history of the parks and the features available within the space, such as tree canopy cover, bodies of water, and recreational offerings can potentially impact the parks’ heat-mitigating effects. Through demographic research, archival newspaper photographs, geospatial mapping and analysis, and references to current studies on heat and urban parks, this study aims to produce a narrative on the heat-mitigating effects of these parks within the greater Westlake neighborhood.

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