The study “Identification and Prioritisation of Locations for Climate Refuges in Lisbon,” cited by Diário de Notícias, notes that “various zones exist in the city without a large amount of trees or gardens or other equipment that can be used to calm the heat, with it being possible to identify this problem as one that affects the whole city”-

The author emphasised that “the effects of climate change can worsen social inequality, as access to parks, pools and climate-resistant houses is limited only to those who can afford it.”

A proposal by the Livre party, approved last July at Lisbon council, motivated the study that was made. “That recommendation came to reinforce my will to analyse the effect of the heat island on the city,” Banza explained.

“I was very happy about Livre bringing up this recommendation to the city council and about the parties all agreeing to it, which shows this city’s willingness to create this climate shelter network.”

The study highlighted zones where more expensive types of projects would have to be done to turn them into climate shelters, which “are locations with certain characteristics that help mitigate the heat island effect and, as a result, help fight climate change.”

The expert used variables like the temperature of the urban heat island, the proximity to gardens and parks, to libraries, the concentration of trees and population density to conclude there are six especially problematic areas in the city: Baixa, rua Morais Soares/Alto de São João, Chelas, Bairro do Rego, Parque das Nações and Ajuda.

At the Baixa, for example, “practically no trees exist and there’s a lot of car traffic, which increases the heat felt.” When it comes to the Morais Soares street along with Arroios and Penha de França, “they’re locations with few trees and a high population density, actually being the most populated square kilometre in the country according to CENSOS 2021.”

In the zones with more gardens, Manuel Banza points out that “the heat island effect is less felt.” Places like “the vicinity of Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian at Avenidas Novas, Campo Grande and Alvalade, or Carnide, show that sometimes the heat island effect is negative, or rather, it’s lower than the reference point used in this calculation.”

“One of the priorities should be planting more trees and we should use this opportunity to solve two problems: guarantee more green spaces with shade and water to lower the temperature, but also to make these places meeting points for people where they can feel comfortable to stay,” he explained.