Felix Creutzig & Blanca Fernandez, Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, Berlin, Germany
Presentation Title: Urban heat risks, health and equity
Climate change impacts are diverse and highly uncertain, but could possibly impact the livelihoods of large parts of humanity. As Earth transitions to a mostly urban planet, the question of how climate risks impact urban populations becomes more prevalent. A main risk of climate change, global warming, translates into urban heat risks and impacts urban populations.
Provided is a meta-analysis of case studies on urban heat risks and equity, currently under review (Blanca Fernandez and Felix Creutzig). Person-specific, intrinsic factors dominate overall heat risks, but socio-economic characteristics can dominate, particularly in urban contexts. Higher age and to a lesser degree, gender, are the most important demographic variables determining heat-related health risk.
Key Lessons Learned
- Heat waves negatively affect human health, especially urban populations.
- Intrinsic (e.g., age, gender, medical status) and extrinsic (e.g., socio-economic status, employment, quantity of green space, building types) factors determine vulnerability to heat waves.
- Short-term mitigation response measures effectively address intrinsic factors, but these strategies do not exhaustively address extrinsic factors, which then raises issues of equity.
- Long term mitigation strategies are plausible in addressing equity in terms of socio-economic susceptibility to urban heat waves.