New York City Adapts To Deal with Projected Increase of Heat Waves
Heat waves are one of the leading weather-related causes of death in the Unites States. According to New York City’s vulnerability assessment, this vulnerability is expected to worsen with climate change. New York City has taken substantive actions to reduce its current vulnerability (i.e., increasing its resiliency to current conditions) as well as its future vulnerability (i.e., adapting to the projected future climatic conditions).
In order to promote resiliency, NYC is increasing use of cooling centers and supports outreach through the Be-a-Buddy Program to share life-saving information with particularly vulnerable populations. In order to adapt to future increases in temperature, the city promotes green infrastructure, reforestation and reflective, or “cool” roofs, to moderate the urban heat island effect and reduce the severity and frequency of future projected extreme heat events. New York City is continuing to evaluate their climate vulnerability and the effectiveness of its adaptation actions using the most up-to-date information.
|How Did They Do It?||Applicable EPA Tools|
Assess climate vulnerability within Climate Risk Information Report (2013)
The National Climate Assessment Future Climate Section can provide a broad projection of temperature change and extreme heat risk for your region based upon emissions scenarios.
|Promoted resiliency to current extreme conditions, particularly for vulnerable populations
||CDC’s Assessing Health Vulnerability to Climate Change helps identify the communities most at risk, including the elderly, infirm, and communities dealing with environmental justice challenges.
Assessing Health Vulnerability to Climate Change (PDF) (24 pp, 4.3 MB, About PDF)
* (This is a non-EPA resource from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)
|Implemented adaptation actions that provide co-benefits to air quality, water management and emergency preparedness
||EPA’s Excessive Heat Events Guidebook helps identify extreme heat resilience and adaptation strategies. For more on using green infrastructure to provide co-benefits, see the “Reduce the Urban Heat Island Page.”|
|Evaluating performance and risk under the best-available science
The Green Infrastructure to Reduce Urban Heat Island Effect webpage provides resources to model and evaluate the performance of green infrastructure strategies that reduce the urban heat island effect.
To see how New York conducted a vulnerability assessment for climate change and extreme heat events, view the NYC Heat Plan case. Remember, extreme heat events and other weather extremes can disproportionately impact at-risk or vulnerable communities, to view a case study that identifies and actively engaged vulnerable communities in adaptation planning for heat events, view Chicago Heat Emergency Response. To see how a community has used green infrastructure to both reduce the impact of future extreme heat events and reduce stormwater runoff during extreme precipitation events, view Chicago Green Infrastructure to Reduce Heat.
- NYC Cool Roofs: 2013 Annual Report (PDF)(13 pp, 12 MB, About PDF)
- Heat Related Brief (PDF)(3 pp, 257 K)
- NYC Panel on Climate Change: Climate Risk Information 2013, Observations, Climate Change Projections, and Maps (PDF)(38 pp, 1.2 MB)
- NYC Climate and Health Profile (PDF)(3 pp, 16 K)
- US Climate Resilience Toolkit: Extreme Heat
- New York City Panel on Climate Change 2015 Report, Chapter 5: Public Health Impacts and Resiliency (PDF)(22 pp, 994 K)