MAPC Releases Toolkit for Tackling Rising Temps with Art

MAPC Releases Toolkit for Tackling Rising Temps with Art

As cities across the country experience more frequent and intense weather events due to climate change, the arts offer opportunities to support cities’ climate resilience efforts. Flooding, hurricanes, extreme heat: collaborations with artists and creatives can address these concerns and more. 

How? Artists can impact the physical environment by transforming infrastructure through art or use creative projects to connect with community members and raise awareness of preparedness practices and local climate risk.  

Today, MAPC released "Cool It with Art: A How-To Guide for Tackling Rising Temperatures with Art in Our Communities," a guide for local governments, community-based organizations, and artists interested in working together to address climate-driven extreme heat impacts and to promote healthy, climate-resilient communities. The guide contains practical guidance to increase awareness of heat risks, creative strategies for heat mitigation, precedents for creative heat resilience interventions, and resources to help support the implementation of these types of projects. 

As a companion to the guide, MAPC compiled a selection of creative heat resilience project examples in an accompanying slide deck on our Cool It with Art webpage. The slide deck features brief descriptions and photos of each project example to inspire ideas for creative resilience interventions in Greater Boston.  

Cool it with Art

Click below to download the full guide, which includes information on heat risks, types of interventions, and why using art and artists can help tackle rising temperatures. You'll also learn about project implementation, including project development, procurement, funding, evaluation, and more.

Project Examples

We've compiled a selection of creative heat resilience project examples. Click through for brief descriptions, photos, and videos to inspire your own creative resilience interventions.

The guide and slide deck categorize creative interventions and artistic collaborations for heat resilience into three categories: 

  • Creative Communications: Artists and creatives are key collaborators in developing messaging that promotes awareness of climate risks and preparedness measures in the community.  
  • Creative Engagement: Artists and creatives are leaders and collaborators in developing effective public participation and cultural programming that promotes climate preparedness and resilience.  
  • Creative Cooling Infrastructure: Artists and creatives develop creative interventions that provide shade and other cooling opportunities in the public realm.  

MAPC is releasing "Cool it with Art" at a time of significant momentum on extreme heat preparedness within the region. Several Metro Boston communities and organizations are already embarking on their own creative heat resilience projects this summer. MAPC is actively supporting some of these efforts through funding and technical assistance. For extreme heat resources and more information on projects underway in the region, visit MAPC's Rising Temperatures and Extreme Heat webpage.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council is eager to support your community in developing artistic collaborations for climate resilience. Please contact our Arts & Culture Department if you need support in using this guide or want to see your creative resilience project featured among the provided examples.

Want to Learn More? Don't Miss Our Upcoming Event!

Building Resilience with Art: Accelerating Climate Resilience Speaker Series
July 19 at 5:30 p.m.

As part of our commitment to creative heat mitigation and climate preparedness, the Accelerating Climate Resilience Speaker Series will host Erin Genia, 2020 Boston Artist-in-Residence, and Sarah Rowbottam, Creative Producer at Arts House in Melbourne, Australia, to discuss the role of the artist in addressing climate change and building resilience, their experiences building resilience through art, and their advice for working with artists. Please join us on Monday, July 19 at 5:30 p.m.