The Cooling Car

The Cooling Car project is a mobile heat response unit that seeks to address the limitations of stationary heat-relief options during extreme temperatures while considering the accessibility and mobility constraints of vulnerable populations. Cooling Cars provide an actionable intervention that attends to the immediate needs of the community by conducting heat well-being checks and distributing preventative temperature-regulating supplies and information.






Green Cities (PLAN 351)


  • James Connolly

City of Vancouver:

  • Luke Balson

Student Team:

  • Sofie Doig
  • Talynn English
  • Nikol Ensor
  • Sasha Gordeeva
  • Noa Nibbelink


  • VanPlay


Spring 2023


Tasked with the challenge of improving the City of Vancouver’s Park Board response to extreme heat events, our project proposes the implementation of mobile heat relief response units in areas with limited access to public cooling features. The identified site of Mount Pleasant West is located in a predominantly industrially zoned area with some of the highest heat indexes and surface temperatures in the city, particularly during extreme heat events. Recognizing the challenges and limitations that vulnerable residents face in accessing cooling centers during extreme heat events, such as reasons related to mobility, transportation, or general awareness, these mobile units would prioritize outreach to vulnerable residents in the area.

The mobile units would be based at Jonathan Rogers Park for centralized access and greater visibility. As an outreach initiative, these units have the capacity to conduct heat-well-being checks and provide preventative temperature-regulating supplies to local community members, with a focus on serving the needs of vulnerable community members. The supplies will account for the provision of water bottles, electrolyte packages, aloe vera, sunscreen, full brimmed hats and misting bottles, as well as the distribution of pre-loaded compass cards and/or taxi vouchers to promote mobility towards cooling centers.

This project presents an actionable intervention that attends to the immediate needs of the community and presents an opportunity for greater community outreach during extreme heat temperatures. It grants community members reliable access to potentially life-saving heat-checks and supplies, while also offering the possibility of effective transport and relocation to an appropriate location to accommodate those facing mobility difficulties.

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