Speaker Series #14 – Compounding Vulnerabilities: Urban Heat and COVID-19

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Cities on the Frontline #14 – June 11, 2020

Already, 2020 is on track to be the hottest year on record. While urban heat is certainly not a new phenomenon and is known to disproportionally affect marginalized communities, COVID-19 has added on an additional layer of risk to cities and vulnerable people within them. Identifying the most vulnerable groups in overlapping ongoing crises is not easy, but essential if we are to target interventions in a resource constrained world.

Understanding and Designing for Compound Vulnerability

Johanna Lovecchio, and Grga Basic, scholars from Columbia University’s Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes recommend urban heat maps as simplified tools for identifying the communities most in need of support and shared examples from Tel Aviv and New York among others.

Heat waves and COVID-19 the silent killer

Anne-Marie Hitipeuw, Chief Resilience Officer of the City of The Hague, shared examples of heat vulnerability mapping and how the city is engaging with communities and investing in green space.

Our speakers brought to light the strong correlation between communities vulnerable to heat island effect and COVID-19. The speakers also provided multiple example of possible interventions to reduce head and better shelter communities during heat wave, including in the world of social distancing.

Watch full session here:

Speaker Series #14 – Compounding Vulnerabilities: Urban Heat and COVID-19