Session Overview
TUKUP5: Indicators and climate maps I : risks & vulnerability
Friday, 24/Jul/2015:
9:30am - 10:30am

Session Chair: Natasha Picone, CONICET/UNCPBA
Location: Spot Room


Method for evaluating the health hazard risk in urban pedestrian space in extremely hot summer conditions based on the total analysis of mesoscale and microscale climates

Saori Yumino1, Akashi Mochida1, Naohiro Hamada2, Susumu Ohno1

1Tohoku University, Japan; 2Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei Inc., Japan

Health hazards in extremely hot summer conditions (e.g. heatstroke) have increased rapidly in recent years with urban heat island, severe weather, etc. In this study, the increase of heatstroke patients caused by extremely hot summer conditions was defined as a disaster and a new evaluation method for outdoor thermal environment based on the concept of risk evaluation was developed.

In order to assess the health risk in extremely hot conditions, the emergency transport rate of heatstroke was selected for evaluating the risk. Risk evaluation was performed using the emergency transport probability curve which is function of wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) and outputs the emergency transport rate of heatstroke. Furthermore, outdoor thermal environment is often severer at the pedestrian height within urban areas than that above buildings due to the effects of increase in artificial ground cover, decrease in green space, etc. In other words, inappropriate urban planning amplifies a threat caused by weather conditions above urban area. To comprehend the increase in health risk caused by hazard amplification due to urban structures, risk amplification ratio was defined in this study. This index enabled us to evaluate whether the environmental urban planning of target urban area is suitable or not.

To present an example of the applications of this method, the hazard distribution was predicted by the total analysis of mesoscale and microscale climates for actual urban area in Sendai and the risk in extremely hot summer conditions and the risk amplification ratio were evaluated based on the hazard distribution. The result indicated that the roadside trees considerably reduced the risk.


Urban Heat Island measurements and sustainability maps to help access vulnerability and potential mitigation techniques in Birmingham and Auburn-Opelika, Alabama

Chandana Mitra, Andrew Hug, Tyler Finley

Auburn University, United States of America

Urban Heat Islands and their thermodynamic nature can exacerbate the effects of severe weather events including heat waves and heavy precipitation. Thus it is important to understand the physical characteristics of individual cities, its vulnerabilities and potential for sustainable development to deal with the microclimatic variability within a city, UHIs and how they modify the dynamism of urban areas. This study compared the UHIs of a mid-sized metropolitan area in Alabama (Birmingham) to a small-sized urban area in Alabama (Auburn-Opelika). The research objectives of this study is to quantify magnitudes and intensities of the average monthly diurnal UHIs in Birmingham and Auburn-Opelika by measuring atmospheric temperature 6-8 feet above the ground (i.e. atmospheric UHI), using iButtons. The research will be conducted for the spring and summer months of 2014 and record hourly temperature data in order to analyze temperature patterns and variability. The results of this research will feed into another project which will build ‘Urban Sustainability Maps’ (USM) for Birmingham and Auburn-Opelika urban areas. Developing the USMs requires the collection and input of several different sets of data. The subsets of data include: climatic elements, such as Local Climate Zones (LCZs), temperatures, precipitation amounts, wind speed and direction, and humidity levels; geospatial information, such as Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), landuse maps, soil type maps, and topographic maps; and socioeconomic Data, such as population density and economic disparity within the cities. With the inclusion of the demographic data, USMs can assess potential effects on the city population from extreme weather events. GIS interactive layers like solar potential map, urban flood risk map, rainwater harvesting potential map will be created to benefit better future planning. Projects like this are significant given the likelihood increase of extreme climatic events like hurricanes, heat and cold waves, and global temperatures as stated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) V report. The results of this research will highlight the importance of mitigation procedures such as increased vegetation, green spaces, energy-efficient building practices, and a reduction in emissions; all of which would ameliorate the UHI and other anthropogenic effects.

Spatial analysis for climate vulnerability assessments: How much granularity do we need?

Joyce Ellen Klein-Rosenthal1,2

1Harvard University Graduate School of Design, United States of America; 2Harvard University Center for Population and Development Studies

Efforts to identify the high-risk areas within cities that are especially vulnerable to the impacts of weather extremes such as heat waves and floods developed rapidly in the last decade of increasing risk for coastal populations. Geospatial analysis is increasingly used to evaluate associations of a range of vulnerability characteristics at the intra-urban scale, including socio-demographic, biophysical, built environment and housing characteristics to population health outcomes during extreme events, such as hospital admissions or excess mortality. These climate-health spatial analyses tend to confirm prior findings of significant health disparities found in high-poverty and minority neighborhoods that endure similar patterns of health disparities for chronic diseases and for other environmental exposures. To evaluate whether six large American cities follow this spatial and social pattern, we use spatial analysis with vulnerability characteristics and mapping to identify intra-urban “urban climate and health riskscapes” and discuss their relevance for current municipal planning for hazard risk reduction and climate resilience. We conclude by proposing a new framework for assessing the spatial scales relevant for city climate risk assessments that support public investment in climate resilience.

Study of urban climate as a basis for climate adaptation and urban planning in Chilean cities

Cristian Henríquez1, Hugo Romero2, Pamela Smith2, Alexis Vásquez2, Claudio Tesser1, Opazo Dustyn2, Jorge Quense1

1Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile; 2Universidad de Chile

Due to the fact that the impacts of climate change and vulnerability levels are geographically differentiated, it’s critical to have high-quality spatial data for assessing these impacts and vulnerabilities, and from that analyse and propose strategies for adapting to climate change. At a national level (Chile), progress has advanced in determining sectoral impacts of climatic change, however the urban scale continues to be a developing area. The purpose is to analyse the relationship between climate and urban morphology in order to propose guidelines for adaptation to the potential and actual impacts of the local climate change process in Chilean cities that are under different climatic and geographical conditions. With meteorological information, temperature recorders, digital analysis of satellite images and field work the local climate zones (Oke), heat islands, thermal comfort and climate extreme indices in various cities are studied: Antofagasta, coastal desert; Calama high desert; Copiapó desert; Santiago, mediterranean, Valparaíso, coastal mediterranean, Chillán temperate; and Concepción coastal temperate, and climatically different urban settings are modeled: neighbourhoods, parks and urban canyons. We employed lidar data, Envimet and Echotect program, GIS modeling (ArcGIS), and interviews with relevant stakeholders (urban planners).

Cases directly or indirectly associated with urban climate and climate change are also reviewed: mudslides in coastal areas, Valparaiso fire, forest Panul in Santiago, Concepcion walkways and comfort.

Guidelines and adaptation strategies that should regulate remodeling, design and urban planning are proposed.