Meet the 2021 Campaign Cities

Jersey City, Elizabeth, and Newark, New Jersey

Year: 2021

Campaign Lead Organization(s): Sustainable Jersey City (SJC)

Get Involved:

Jason Biegel |


More hot days by the end of the century compared to the beginning (US CRT Climate Explorer)


Population that does not speak English "very well" compared to 8.4% national average. (2019 ACS - US Census)


Population living in poverty, compared to 12.5% national average. (2019 ACS - US Census)


Population living alone, compared to 15% national average. (2019 ACS - US Census)


The cities of Elizabeth, Jesey City and Newark are part of the largest metropolis in the US — the New York City Metro area. Each city has a dense urban landscape, is in a major national commerce hub with environmental concerns, and is consdered an Overburdened Community under the 2020 NJ Environmental Justice Legislation framework.

According to a 2018 report by New Jersey Department of Health, two leading causes of death are heart disease and chronic lower respiratory diseases (i.e. asthma) — both of which are exacerbated by excessive heat according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Due to its urban landscape, the climate in northeastern NJ is more akin to NYC, which sees a yearly average of 450 heat-related emergency department visits, 150 heat-related hospital admissions, and 13 heat-stroke deaths each year.

Elizabeth and Newark are in the proximity of Newark Liberty International Airport and Port Newark — both major sources of emissions, and Jersey City is also impacted by the cumulative toxic air quality, exacerbated by Urban Heat Island (UHI) conditions. All three municipalities suffer from public health issues, including heat-related illnesses and accentuated respiratory ailments. Jersey City has the highest rate of adult Asthma in Hudson County, and is already seeing certain parts show a 16 to 21 degrees increase in surface temperature, based on SJC’s preliminary analysis.

SJC’s UHI analysis activities stemmed from Tree Canopy restoration efforts for Jersey City. While all three cities have done urban heat studies separately in the past, this is the first time Jersey City, Elizabeth, and Newark are collaborating on a heat mapping campaign.

Lead Organization(s)

Sustainable Jersey City (SJC)

Partner Organizations

  • Groundwork Elizabeth (Elizabeth, NJ)
  • South Ward Environmental Alliance (Newark, NJ)

Campaign Goals / Anticipated Outcomes

  • Identify areas in each city that require attention to alleviate excessive heat conditions
  • Visualize the data and make it available for residents and municipal decision makers
  • Raise public awareness about the dangers of excessive heat to those who live in Urban Heat Islands
  • Collaborate with other neighborhood, city, state and national climate action planning efforts to address the UHI Effect
  • Unify Environmental Justice advocacy in our region to find holistic Green Infrastructure solutions for Overburdened Communities
  • Engage a climate partnership network including non-profits, public, and private enterprises to address UHIs and pressing environmental issues



NIHHIS is made possible by our participating agencies.













NIHHIS Headquarters

Address: 1315 East-West Hwy, Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910

About Us

NIHHIS is an integrated information system that builds understanding of the problem of extreme heat, defines demand for climate services that enhance societal resilience, develops science-based products and services from a sustained climate science research program, and improves capacity, communication, and societal understanding of the problem in order to reduce morbidity and mortality due to extreme heat.  NIHHIS is a jointly developed system by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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