An Equity-Focused Approach to Urban Heat Resilience
Extreme heat is deadlier than all other U.S. weather-related hazards combined, with risks increasing due to racial, social and economic inequality, climate change and increased development, which exacerbates the urban heat island effect. During this summer’s record-breaking temperatures, heat-health was at the forefront of the national conversation on climate risk, intersecting with and compounding the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and its related economic and energy pressures. While research and modeling continue to advance understanding of the characteristics heat in cities, translating this research into sustainability and resiliency policy, practice, and governance remains a challenge. NYC’s experience makes a case for developing actionable science for decision making and the public interest; intentionally using health and climate data to achieve the climate equity goals.