NEW YORK - The urban development of New York City means that some parts of the city are hotter than other places, by as much as 10 degrees.
Known as the ‘heat island effect,’ it's why neighborhoods like Midtown Manhattan or Hunts Point in the Bronx feel even more sweltering than other parts of the city.
"The urban heat island effect is essentially the amplification of heat that’s caused by the built environment," said Peter Girard of Climate Central, a non-profit organization.
The built environment includes factors such as tall buildings, narrow streets, dark surfaces, and extensive paved areas, all of which contribute to trapping and intensifying heat.
Among the boroughs, the Bronx feels the impact of the heat island effect most profoundly. The city's environmental and health data supports this claim, indicating that Bronx neighborhoods are the most vulnerable during heat waves.
According to Girard, there are individual steps people can take to make real changes, including planting rooftop gardens, and painting lighter-colored sidewalks and storefronts in order to reflect heat, instead of trapping it.
The study also found that green spaces, like Central and Prospect Park, are distinctly cooler than their surrounding areas.