Strategies to reduce the effects of urban heat islands

Project description

Growing awareness among communities and policy makers of the impacts of rising urban temperatures is driving the development of climate adaptation plans. Across the globe, plans are emerging that provide guidance on strategies to prevent fatalities and reduce the cost of infrastructure systems (e.g., energy, transportation, building HVAC, etc.). Simultaneously, policy decisions about mitigation measures are often made without direct input from affected communities. However, the assessment of hazards, such as heat waves, requires the involvement of diverse stakeholders to develop an understanding of the causes and options for mitigating urban risks (e.g., through the creation and preservation of urban green spaces). The knowledge gained from this can guide planning processes and policies for climate change adaptation and give them legitimacy in the eyes of the communities most affected by the increasing intensity and frequency of heat waves.

In the project, we (1) organize a workshop to engage local communities – including policy makers, members of non-governmental organizations, and representatives from environmental justice organizations – to collect ideas for measures and adaptation strategies for extreme urban heat, and (2) aim to develop a joint USA-Germany project on managing urban heat stress resulting from climate change, involving multiple stakeholders.


Dr. rer. nat. Somidh Saha
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-24644