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FPHA Smart Surfaces Project

The Florida Public Health Association is pleased to announce we are one of six APHA Affiliates selected to partner with the Smart Surfaces Coalition to support their efforts to raise community awareness, foster more community involvement, and provide education on Smart Surfaces.

What is the Smart Surfaces Coalition?

Forty of the most eminent national and international organizations comprise the Smart Surfaces Coalition, which is dedicated to facilitating and guaranteeing that Smart Surfaces become the norm for urban planning worldwide within ten years.

Urban trees, solar photovoltaics, and green, reflecting, and porous surfaces are examples of smart surfaces. Cities may create jobs, boost competitiveness, and reduce pollution, peak summer temperatures, and emissions at a reasonable cost by implementing Smart Surface regulations.

The Smart Surfaces Coalition seeks to mitigate climate change and promote health and well-being in measurable ways such as:

  • Groundbreaking studies measuring the effects on equity, employment, energy, environment, health, and other areas.
  • A customized cost-benefit analysis tool that makes it possible to optimize any surface in the city
  • Assistance from a potent alliance of more than forty significant organizations dedicated to a same goal
  • Technical support for applications for federal financing

The Smart Surfaces Coalition goals include:

  • Lowering peak summer temperatures
  • Lowering the risk of floods and mold
  • Enhancing air quality
  • Providing environmental protection

Learn more about the Smart Surfaces Project Here

What's New?


In April, the Florida Public Health Association (FPHA), in partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), conducted a comprehensive study in Jacksonville, involving 44 individuals across five focus groups. The discussions underscored several key themes:

1. Outreach and Education: Participants highlighted the need for enhanced outreach and education on the impacts of extreme weather.

2. Community Involvement: There was a strong emphasis on involving community organizations in these efforts.

3. Cooling Stations: Extending the availability of cooling stations was identified as crucial.

Additionally, participants stressed the importance of expanding home weatherization and repair programs. They suggested including free air conditioning assessments and duct cleaning services to help reduce energy costs for vulnerable households. Environmental improvements were also a major focus, with recommendations such as increasing tree planting, addressing local flooding issues, and enhancing street drainage before hurricane season.

Innovative solutions proposed by the focus groups included distributing window air conditioning units, considering solar panel installations, and establishing community gardens and emergency preparation corps. Specific concerns raised included high utility bills, trust issues with city staff, and the need for more cooling stations and shaded areas.

The proposed actions aim to enhance community resilience against extreme weather by improving infrastructure, resources, and communication channels.

How to Use the HeatRisk Tool and Air Quality Index – from the CDC

HeatRisk and the Air Quality Index provide essential information to help patients manage their health on hot days or days with poor air quality. These tools can help your patients know when hot outdoor temperatures (HeatRisk) or poor air quality (Air Quality Index) may pose a risk to their health. Educating patients and caregivers about these tools can ensure they effectively use the information provided.

HeatRisk Tool: HeatRisk is a health-based heat forecast that integrates health and temperature data to deliver a 7-day outlook for hot weather. HeatRisk uses a 5-level scale to indicate how risky the heat level is in a specific area, with each level represented by a color indicating the risks from heat exposure.

HeatRisk accounts for unique relationships between heat and health at the local level, in different locations, and at different times of the year. It also considers the role of humid air, which can amplify heat-related health risks. Developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s National Weather Service (NWS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HeatRisk is a valuable tool for public health.

Air Quality Index (AQI): The Air Quality Index (AQI) provides information about how clean or polluted the air is and the associated health effects. The AQI uses a color-coded system to indicate air quality levels and related health risks. Checking the AQI helps patients decide when it is safe to spend time outdoors and when to take precautions, especially on days when air quality is poor. For more information:

Learn more Here

How to Get Involved

FPHA has formed the Climate Health Interest Group to help support the work of this project. The Interest Group will be focused on building partnerships, educating communities, and promoting public health to guide state-wide environmental policy. If you are interested and want to learn more, please reach out to

14646 NW 151st Blvd.
Alachua, FL 32615

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