Emergency shelters don’t adequately protect residents. Enter community spaces – centers built to withstand climate disruptions and offer long-term preparedness
On the Saturday before Labor Day, in the east Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights, temperatures outside climbed to 105F (41C). It was the fourth day of California’s longest September heatwave on record. That afternoon, the entire state was under a “flex alert”, in which Californians were asked to turn down their air conditioners and unplug appliances to avoid putting so much demand on the power grid that utilities would have to intermittently cut electricity.
But at the Boyle Heights Arts Conservatory, or BHAC, children sat around a table engrossed in the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. The thermostat read a cool 72F.