NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Where are the hottest areas of Nashville? This summer, Music City was awarded federal dollars to answer that question.

“I can’t think of a better way of government partnering with the public to drive those conversations,” said Kendra Abkowitz.

Abkowitz is the Metro Chief Sustainability & Resilience Officer and says Sunday, nearly 30 volunteers drove around the city of Nashville collecting data for a heat mapping project.

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“We know that urban heat and extreme heat is really impactful,” she said.

Nashville was one of 14 cities in the U.S. that was selected to participate in this study funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“We covered a lot of Metro Nashville,” said Dr. Alisa Hass.

Hass is an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences at Middle Tennessee State University.

MTSU along with other universities, organizations, non-profits, and metro & state departments worked together to gather volunteers, find specific driving routes, and ultimately prepare for their one day of heat mapping.

“So we had communities we knew were maybe vulnerable or maybe that we thought would have high heat,” said Hass. “We can pinpoint those areas or if we knew areas would be cooler, less vulnerable…if we wanted to see specific physical features throughout Nashville affected heat we can pinpoint those areas.”

The goal of this study is to find where the hottest areas of Nashville are so city leaders can work to better alleviate this issue for residents.

“It is a condition that disproportionally affects minority communities, elderly communities, youth, and so it’s important that we’re trying to build equitable strategies to address extreme heat,” said Abkowitz.

Abkowitz says now that the data has been collected they’ll wait roughly 6 to 8 weeks for it to be compiled into a heat map that they’ll then share with the public.

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That information can help city leaders develop mitigation strategies like tree planting, green roofs, cool pavements, and hydration stations.