In 2018, Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability launched a community-driven, equity focused approach to community climate planning with the Beat the Heat Hunting Park Initiative. The goal of this first effort was to work in one of Philadelphia’s hottest and most heat vulnerable neighborhoods—Hunting Park—to identify and acknowledge causes for heat disparities while also supporting community-driven decision-making about how to reduce these inequities.
Hunting Park residents informed the creation of the City’s first community-driven resilience plan, Beat the Heat Hunting Park: A Community Heat Relief Plan, in 2018. The Office of Sustainability teamed up with residents and community organizations like Esperanza, Hunting Park Neighborhood Advisory Committee, Hunting Park United, and North10 Philadelphia to create the plan through a neighborhood heat survey, stakeholder interviews, a heat intervention design workshop, summer events, and meetings.
One of the plan’s key recommendations was to create a community-based heat relief network, a system of cooling centers and other resources.