PURL JAM: Urban Visual Research Exhibition

In this research, I trace the historical and geographical development of the heatscape, a landscape of uneven exposure to extreme heat in Phoenix, Arizona. This case study is focused in understanding how urban, agricultural, and industrial development create and sustain extreme heat conditions in metro Phoenix.

I show how various processes of land use land cover change brought on through urban infrastructure and industrial development, combined with discriminatory practices such as race-based residential segregation shaped a landscape of extreme heat exposure that is specially pronounced in the metro Phoenix urban core, where marginalized, low-income populations are most exposed. I argue that not only is the urban core hotter than the surrounding expanding suburbs in the east, west, and north areas of the Salt River Valley, but also that historically, the central Phoenix communities have had less resources to cope with extreme heat.

I use historical and archival data and longitudinal climatological records, to show that urban, suburban and industrial development in the Phoenix metropolitan region actively creates and recreates inequitable geographies of extreme heat exposure for low-income and minority groups in the urban core, while simultaneously affording suburban populations protection from the deleterious human health and environmental effects of extreme heat.

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PURL JAM: Urban Visual Research Exhibition

Phoenix Urban Research Lab

PURL JAM is an exhibition that brings together emerging scholars from a variety of schools and disciplines at ASU, to showcase innovative urban research that explores all manner of spatial, historical and theoretical inquiry using visual methodologies.…


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PURL JAM is an exhibition that brings together emerging scholars from a variety of schools and disciplines at ASU, to showcase innovative urban research that explores all manner of spatial, historical and theoretical inquiry using visual methodologies. Unlike traditional academic venues, this research “jam” creates an informal visual encounter between disparate urban PhD research projects to generate new and unexpected areas of inquiry. PURL JAM highlights the shared intellectual interest in urbanism at ASU, bringing together different perspectives on the nature, meaning and dynamics of urban places.

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