Keep Cool Somerville

Somerville splash pad
Keep Cool Somerville

Keep Cool Somerville
PhotoVoice Project & Survey

Somerville residents are taking action to protect their neighbors from the threat of climate change. As our changing climate causes increasing temperatures, our neighborhoods can expect hotter summers and more frequent and severe heat waves. Residents are invited to document their experiences with extreme heat and keeping cool through photography and art.

The Keep Cool Somerville PhotoVoice project will culminate with an outdoor exhibit this fall.

This project is a part of the Somerville Heat Health Assessment & Toolkit, a collaborative project between The City of Somerville and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. This project aims to improve climate and health equity in the City of Somerville.

For more information, please contact: Jeanette Pantoja at

Keeping Cool in High Heat

Extreme heat can be deadly, and it disproportionately impacts communities of color and low-income residents. The COVID-19 emergency is making it harder to safely offer cooling solutions that municipalities have used for years. MAPC and the City of Somerville have compiled resources to help out:

Take the Survey!

Keep Cool Somerville wants to understand residents’ experiences with heat in order to identify strategies for long-term summer heat preparedness.

We are preparing because we know that our neighborhoods can expect hotter summers and more frequent and severe heat waves as climate change continues.

Thank you for taking time to respond to this survey!

How to Participate in the Photovoice Project

August 16 to September 12, 2020

Help make Somerville a more climate-ready and healthy community: share your experiences with extreme heat and show us what you are doing to keep yourself and your family cool.

Participants have a chance to win a $25 gift card and have their photos included in a public exhibit this fall.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:


Draw, paint, or take photos of places and things that show your experiences with extreme heat and what you do to keep cool – whether it’s spending time by the water or a shady tree, enjoying a cold drink, changing how you get around town, or something else!


Submit your photos or artwork below or email to our project team at You can also post images on social media using the hashtag #keepcoolsomerville to inspire others!


Provide a brief description of the photo that includes the location and why you took it.

Guidelines for pHotos

  • Photos should be taken in Somerville.
  • Please avoid selfies and posed photos: instead, document what you see in your daily life.
  • Please ask permission when taking photos of people.
  • By submitting your photos or artwork you agree that MAPC can use them in any medium and for any purpose related to this project.


Submit Your Photos

Remember to check the submission guidelines above!

Translate the survey into Spanish by clicking the drop-down menu in the top right corner.

What is PhotoVoice?

This project uses the PhotoVoice approach, which employs photography as a way to inform positive changes in the community. PhotoVoice engages people with valuable lived experience and asks them to take on the role of community photojournalists, capturing images that tell stories about issues affecting their community, like climate change. PhotoVoice participants also capture images that tell stories about what makes their communities strong and resilient, such as the creative ways people find ways to keep cool in the summer heat.