Urban heat solutions

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Glass building and tree cover
Fahroni/Shutterstock

During heat waves, the highest temperatures are often found in urbanized areas. By 2070, 3.5 billion people will be heavily affected by heat, 1.6 billion of whom will live in urban areas (Chi Xu et al. 2020). Rising temperatures can negatively impact vulnerable people, workers, infrastructure and even GDP.

As the world warms, there is an urgent need to find ways to prevent the worse. Heat is a growing global challenge for communities large and small, across every development context, and requires collaboration amongst a wide array of disciplines and topic areas. In addition, newly sweltering countries can learn from heat-hardy ones about ways to stay cool.

This collection compiles stories from around the world on how to reduce heatwave risk.

Urban green space on the NY High LIne
During heatwaves, the highest temperatures are often found in urbanized areas. Small green spaces are often overlooked as a way to cool urban areas.
Conversation Media Group, the
Highrise buildings with greened terraces, Milan
Heatwaves worldwide are becoming more frequent and longer in duration. In the light of this challenge, cities are showing leadership, commitment and innovative approaches to tackling extreme heat, demonstrating cost-effective actionable solutions.
World Economic Forum
This image shows the first page of the publication.
2022
PAS Report 600 provides holistic guidance to help practitioners increase urban heat resilience equitably in the communities they serve. It provides an in-depth overview of the contributors to urban heat and equity implications.
American Planning Association
An elderly Indian farmer reaches for a drink of water during a sweltering day
Premsagar Tasgaonkar, Komal Modhave and Yogesh Shinde from the Watershed Organisation Trust, India describe how they have established a system to warn farmers in rural areas when heat levels are forecast to rise to dangerous levels.
Climate and Development Knowledge Network
Aerial view of residential buildings with blue roofs.
From painting roofs to geothermal air conditioning systems, accessible and sustainable cooling tools exist to help address the growing problem of heat stress, which is worsening due to climate change
The Third Pole
Ida Gabrielsson
Organisations like Mahila Housing Trust and Slum Dwellers International work with women to design safe, resilient housing solutions.