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Climate and Environment

Underserved Long Beach Neighborhood May Get Pool

Silver railings leading into a swimming pool are shown.
FILE PHOTO: North Long Beach might get a neighborhood swimming pool.
(Enis Yavuz
/
Unsplash)
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North Long Beach might be getting its own public pool.

The Long Beach City Council unanimously passed a motion on Tuesday to look into costs and other logistics in Councilmember Rex Richardson's district.

Richardson said the 90805 zip code is home to 90,000 people, making it the most populated part of the city and home to more children that any other Long Beach zip code.

And it's also hotter than other parts of the city. The neighborhoods in North Long Beach are further from the ocean than most in the city and they lay right up against the heavily travelled 710 and 91 Freeways. Richardson notes they have the highest average temperatures.

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Currently, the closest pool open to the public all year is more than four miles away.

Location Of Current Public Pools

A study conducted this year by Long Beach identified the "urban heat island effect" as an issue in rising temperatures due to human-driven climate change. That effect kicks in when an area has less tree canopy and more pavement than more affluent neighborhoods. It's a common issue in lower-income areas that have not seen needed investment in infrastructure.

When it comes to the impact of climate change and extreme heat, Long Beach city officials have identified Central, West and North Long Beach as "particularly vulnerable due to socioeconomic, racial, and environmental health disparities.

"This is an area of town that has only recently seen investment take place,” Richardson said of his district. “This was an area of town that was largely yellow lined, considered undesirable through that process, and starved of investment."

The feasibility study for the new pool is expected to wrap up in a few months, and Richardson hopes that when it's built, it will also serve to create jobs for teens in the area.

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