This topical project focused on the value of shade, shade distribution, and the barriers to shade equity in Los Angeles, CA. The project focused on the importance of shade in sunny urban environments for public health in order to draw attention to the consequences of unequal shade provision across council districts. Findings showed that at 18%, tree cover in LA is lower than the urban average, that by 2050 the number of days of extreme heat would increase by 16, and that shade distribution is highly correlated to household income in each council district. A major finding was a catalog of 12 barriers to shade creation that stem from state and municipal policies and codes, cultural determinants, and the privatization of the public right of way. The team used site visits, thermal imaging, geolocated data sets, and archival research for the project. This project was funded in part by the Patrick T. Curran Fellowship and continues SWA’s work on climate change.


Han Fu and Qiaoqi Dai, SWA


Ying-yu Hung, Gerdo Aquino, George Kutnar, and Liz Batchelder, SWA
Anya Domlesky and Jonah Susskind, XL Lab at SWA