How Decades of Racist Housing Policy Left Neighborhoods Sweltering
In the 1930s, federal officials redlined these neighborhoods in Richmond, Va., marking them as risky investments because residents were Black. Today, they are some of the hottest parts of town in the summer, with few trees and an abundance of heat-trapping pavement. White neighborhoods that weren’t redlined tend to be much cooler today — a pattern that repeats nationwide.
“Even people who don’t believe institutionalized racism are struck when we show them these maps. We didn’t get here by accident, and we’re not going to fix it by accident,” said Cate Mingoya, director of capacity building at Groundwork USA, which has been highlighting links between redlining and heat in cities like Richmond, VA.