Advancing the Theory and Practice of Urban Heat Resilience
The goal of this workshop is to develop a practice-driven research agenda on urban heat resilience. The workshop will engage dozens of key stakeholders representing private, public, and non-profit sectors on the focus areas of public health, planning, built environment, energy infrastructure, heat mapping, and climate services. Stakeholders will learn and share together virtually as a group and in small groups through facilitated dialogues, individual surveys, a live public lecture, virtual student poster presentations, and opportunities for more informal networking. This workshop and its proceedings will lay the groundwork for the next decade of actionable science on urban heat resilience.
Urban heat is deadlier than nearly all other U.S. weather-related hazards combined, with risks increasing due to climate change and the urban heat island effect. During this summer’s record-breaking temperatures, urban heat is at the forefront of the national conversation on climate risk, intersecting with and compounding the COVID-19 pandemic, social inequity, and racial injustice. Fundamental research continues to advance understanding of the characteristics of resilient cities and their governance, but translating this knowledge about urban resilience into practice remains a challenge.
Despite decades of scholarship to document extreme heat impacts on quality of life, economic productivity, national security, physical and mental health, ecosystems, water and energy usage, and infrastructure, heat is a climate risk still without a mature governance structure for the 14,000 U.S. municipalities. While communities enhance their resilience to risks such as hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes with local land use controls, state and federal legal precedence, mapping resources, and national guidance, no comparable urban heat resources exist.
An Interdisciplinary Approach
Researchers within various disciplines have made significant advances to understand and model urban climate dynamics and document uneven public health impacts of heat. Less work has focused on the integration of these discipline-specific insights with the broader urban resilience literature to characterize a heat resilient municipality and its governance. This gap in understanding critically impacts the communities and organizations across the U.S. that are pursuing strategies to mitigate and manage urban heat in a largely ad-hoc and uncoordinated manner.
This workshop brings together the critical theories, methodological approaches, data, and practical knowledge from the wide range of academic and professional disciplines that influence urban heat resilience, including public health, emergency management, social services, urban planning, landscape architecture, architecture, geographic information systems, urban climatology, real estate development, utilities, climate service providers, and civil and structural engineers. The workshop will bring together traditionally siloed researchers and practitioners to identify the most pressing research gaps and synergies for informing a practice-driven research agenda on urban heat resilience.
Workshop Summary – Advancing the Theory and Practice of Urban Heat Resilience
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12:15 pm Energy Systems and Infrastructure Presented by Tracey Woods
12:25 pm Implementing heat health interventions: an inter-disciplinary, inter-agency challenge Presented by Shubhayu Saha
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.