The New York TimesThe New York Times

Heat divide leaves low-income workers among the most vulnerable

By Emma Bubola

18 Jul 2023 · 5 min read

informed Summary

  1. Southern Europe's extreme heat wave is highlighting a deep divide between those who can afford to shelter from it, and those who can’t.

MILAN — During one of the most extreme heat waves Europe has had this summer, executives in suits dashed from cabs into Milan’s air-conditioned offices, while tourists sipped mimosas under clouds of cooling vapor in the Bar at Ralph Lauren. Lowered blinds behind iron balconies signaled that residents had departed for their vacation homes.

Below the darkened windows, delivery riders cycled under the sun to shuttle sushi and poke bowls to office buildings. Elsewhere in Milan, on the airport’s incendiary tarmac, baggage handlers drenched in sweat unloaded luggage from planes. And along the highway that connects Milan to the seaside, laborers wore safety vests on bare, sunburned chests as they lugged buckets of concrete in the scorching heat.

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