Wen-Ching Chuang, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

Presentation Title: Critical perspectives on vulnerability assessment: Case studies of heat stress in Phoenix, AZ



The impacts of climate effects and environmental change are increasingly examined through the lens of vulnerability. However, vulnerability assessments remain challenging due to the lack of measurement guidelines of ‘vulnerability’ in current theoretical frameworks. Empirical analyses examined the limitations of two methods widely used for vulnerability assessment: vulnerability index and vulnerability mapping.

Policy/Practice Implications

  • Cities must incorporate place-based factors to increase the usefulness of vulnerability indices.
  • It is important to communicate to decisionmakers that these indicators and assessments are very sensitive to scale, measurement and context, and that using multiple data sets is important for good decisionmaking and the development of effective intervention policies.


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