COVID-19 Lockdowns and Extreme Heat in Informal Settlements
Play • 14 min

In the northern hemisphere, as countries were starting to enter the hottest time of the year, the world shut down in lockdowns intended to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. What happened to people living in informal settlements who had to deal with the dual impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns and the heat season? 

Elspeth Oppermann, Senior Research Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, conducted surveys in Cameroon, Pakistan, India, and Indonesia through the Cool Infrastructures project to understand if responses to the pandemic had shaped people's ability to manage extreme heat in off-grid settlements. Poor building materials created "oven-like" conditions for some, and finely-tuned practices to cool down were disrupted in many cases.  Listen to the full episode to learn more! 

References and Supplemental Materials:

  • Blog explaining the COVID-19 & Heat survey work
  • Explore the raw data from the Cool Infrastructure project's surveys

Anwar, N., et al. (2020) Heat and Covid-19 in the Off-Grid City. Somatosphere, July 2, 2020.

The intro music is Welcome to the Show, and the background music is Beauty Flow, both by Kevin MacLeod and is used under a creative commons license. The podcast art is by Melinda.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or downloading it through your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

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