in New York, refreshment centers for the elderly

The strong exceptional heat does not only affect France. All week, Europe 1 takes you on a heat wave world tour. How are other countries dealing with this situation? Today, direction New Yorkwhich opens refreshment centers for the elderly.

“Not everyone can have air conditioning”

“It’s very, very hot,” admits Bernard. This retiree is playing dominoes in a center in the Harlem neighborhood. Outside, the temperature is around 40 degrees on stage. “The center has to open because not everyone can have air conditioning. Here there are a lot of activities as well as digital tools with computers and tablets.” New York City lists 550 refreshment centers in libraries, cultural venues and sometimes even churches.

“We are activated as a cooling center as soon as the temperatures exceed 32 degrees for three days or more. On those days, we are open in case someone needs to be cool. We offer water cool, a place to sit and enjoy the air conditioning”, explains Katrina Dinam who manages that of the Kings Tower, specializing in the reception of seniors.

Modernize the city’s infrastructure to limit heat

A dozen residents of the neighborhood play or watch television under the air conditioning. A little respite while the night, the temperature rarely drops below 25 degrees. “Honestly, this year, there have been a lot more very hot days. We have already opened twice. It has never happened in recent years.”

This evolution corresponds to that of the New York climate. In 2020, the city moved to a humid subtropical zone. The winters are warmer, the summers stifling. Change noted by Debra who have lived in Harlem for several decades. “We used to have four seasons. It feels like there are only three left. I don’t really see spring. I feel like we’re going straight into summer. ” For New York, the challenge today is the modernization of infrastructures, because air conditioners, which are very widespread, also contribute to the warming of the city.

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