There are over one million acres of urban parks in the United States. These parks play a role in mitigating climate change and are themselves vulnerable to the effects of climate change—including extreme heat and cold, unprecedented rainfall, high winds, flooding, and blizzards that impact tree canopy and wildlife. In an effort to learn more about the role of urban parks in the face of climate change, researchers from the Yale School of the Environment, Natural Areas Conservancy, and Central Park Conservancy created the Central Park Climate Lab.
The goal of the Central Park Climate Lab is to work with cities across the U.S. to co-develop and implement strategies that mitigate the effects of climate change in urban parks, to help adapt parks to future climate conditions. Starting in New York City, the Lab’s researchers are gathering data and using remote sensing and mapping techniques to better understand and contextualize urban parks through a climate change lens. By quantifying climate impacts and changes in park vegetation and condition, it will allow us to better understand how these essential green spaces could be used to create more resilient cities.
Yale School of the Environment faculty Mark Bradford (Professor of Soils and Ecosystem Ecology) and Karen Seto (Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science), YSE alumnae Sarah Charlop-Powers ‘09 MEM (Executive Director and Co-founder) and Clara Pregitzer ‘20 PhD (Deputy Director of Conservation Science) of the Natural Areas Conservancy, and experts from the Central Park Conservancy are leading this first-of-its-kind initiative.
PhD, Professor of Soils and Ecosystem Ecology, Yale School of the Environment
PhD, Frederick C. Hixon Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science, Yale School of the Environment, Director, Hixon Center for Urban Ecology