Tunnels, museums, churches, parks, river banks and a host of other places are listed in the free new app launched today by City Hall called Extrema Paris.
“With (the Greek capital) Athens, we are the first to launch such an app,” said green party councillor Célia Blauel, who appeared to have overlooked the fact that the Dutch city of Rotterdam also has a version of Extrema.
Around 800 different places are listed on the app as being suitable for those seeking to take refuge from high temperatures.
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Users of the app can create a profile and find the places nearest to them. And they can also create a profile for friends or family so that they can check to see if their loved ones are safe during a heatwave.
“The app can tell you, thanks to data that is updated every five minutes, if your grandmother might be in a critical situation, and it can tell you what you need to do,” said councillor Blauel.
When tested by The Local, Extrema Paris quickly identified the swimming pool in the canal beside our office as a place to go and bring the body temperature right down, as shown recently when Local editor Ben McPartland took a dip there.
Screenshot from the app
One of the aims of the app, which was developed in collaboration with France's public health authority and weather agency Météo France, is to avoid any repeat of the disastrous heatwave that struck in 2003. Around 15,000 old people died across France, including 500 in Paris, from the effects of that heatwave.
Extrema Paris was launched to supplement the information that is displayed on municipal noticeboards when the weather gets too hot for comfort.
“The human body needs to lower its temperature at night, and that is why we offer a map showing cool spots available during the day, but also those open at night,” said Blauel.