Matching Items (5)

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On the Science-Policy Bridge: Do Spatial Heat Vulnerability Assessment Studies Influence Policy?

Description

Human vulnerability to heat varies at a range of spatial scales, especially within cities where there can be noticeable intra-urban differences in heat risk factors. Mapping and visualizing intra-urban heat

Human vulnerability to heat varies at a range of spatial scales, especially within cities where there can be noticeable intra-urban differences in heat risk factors. Mapping and visualizing intra-urban heat vulnerability offers opportunities for presenting information to support decision-making. For example the visualization of the spatial variation of heat vulnerability has the potential to enable local governments to identify hot spots of vulnerability and allocate resources and increase assistance to people in areas of greatest need. Recently there has been a proliferation of heat vulnerability mapping studies, all of which, to varying degrees, justify the process of vulnerability mapping in a policy context. However, to date, there has not been a systematic review of the extent to which the results of vulnerability mapping studies have been applied in decision-making. Accordingly we undertook a comprehensive review of 37 recently published papers that use geospatial techniques for assessing human vulnerability to heat. In addition, we conducted an anonymous survey of the lead authors of the 37 papers in order to establish the level of interaction between the researchers as science information producers and local authorities as information users. Both paper review and author survey results show that heat vulnerability mapping has been used in an attempt to communicate policy recommendations, raise awareness and induce institutional networking and learning, but has not as yet had a substantive influence on policymaking or preventive action.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-10-23

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Predicting Hospitalization for Heat-Related Illness at the Census-Tract Level: Accuracy of a Generic Heat Vulnerability Index in Phoenix, Arizona (USA)

Description

Background: Vulnerability mapping based on vulnerability indices is a pragmatic approach for highlighting the areas in a city where people are at the greatest risk of harm from heat, but

Background: Vulnerability mapping based on vulnerability indices is a pragmatic approach for highlighting the areas in a city where people are at the greatest risk of harm from heat, but the manner in which vulnerability is conceptualized influences the results.
Objectives: We tested a generic national heat-vulnerability index, based on a 10-variable indicator framework, using data on heat-related hospitalizations in Phoenix, Arizona. We also identified potential local risk factors not included in the generic indicators.
Methods: To evaluate the accuracy of the generic index in a city-specific context, we used factor scores, derived from a factor analysis using census tract–level characteristics, as independent variables, and heat hospitalizations (with census tracts categorized as zero-, moderate-, or high-incidence) as dependent variables in a multinomial logistic regression model. We also compared the geographical differences between a vulnerability map derived from the generic index and one derived from actual heat-related hospitalizations at the census-tract scale.
Results: We found that the national-indicator framework correctly classified just over half (54%) of census tracts in Phoenix. Compared with all census tracts, high-vulnerability tracts that were misclassified by the index as zero-vulnerability tracts had higher average income and higher proportions of residents with a duration of residency < 5 years.
Conclusion: The generic indicators of vulnerability are useful, but they are sensitive to scale, measurement, and context. Decision makers need to consider the characteristics of their cities to determine how closely vulnerability maps based on generic indicators reflect actual risk of harm.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-01-30

Predicting Hospitalization for Heat-Related Illness at the Census-Tract Level: Accuracy of a Generic Heat Vulnerability Index in Phoenix, Arizona (USA)

Description

Background: Vulnerability mapping based on vulnerability indices is a pragmatic approach for highlighting the areas in a city where people are at the greatest risk of harm from heat, but

Background: Vulnerability mapping based on vulnerability indices is a pragmatic approach for highlighting the areas in a city where people are at the greatest risk of harm from heat, but the manner in which vulnerability is conceptualized influences the results.

Objectives: We tested a generic national heat-vulnerability index, based on a 10-variable indicator framework, using data on heat-related hospitalizations in Phoenix, Arizona. We also identified potential local risk factors not included in the generic indicators.

Methods: To evaluate the accuracy of the generic index in a city-specific context, we used factor scores, derived from a factor analysis using census tract–level characteristics, as independent variables, and heat hospitalizations (with census tracts categorized as zero-, moderate-, or highincidence) as dependent variables in a multinomial logistic regression model. We also compared the geographical differences between a vulnerability map derived from the generic index and one derived from actual heat-related hospitalizations at the census-tract scale.

Results: We found that the national-indicator framework correctly classified just over half (54%) of census tracts in Phoenix. Compared with all census tracts, high-vulnerability tracts that were misclassified by the index as zero-vulnerability tracts had higher average income and higher proportions of residents with a duration of residency < 5 years.

Conclusion: The generic indicators of vulnerability are useful, but they are sensitive to scale, measurement, and context. Decision makers need to consider the characteristics of their cities to determine how closely vulnerability maps based on generic indicators reflect actual risk of harm.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-06-01

Vulnerability to Extreme Heat in Metropolitan Phoenix: Spatial, Temporal, and Demographic Dimensions

Description

This study assessed the spatial distribution of vulnerability to extreme heat in 1990 and 2000 within metropolitan Phoenix based on an index of seven equally weighted measures of physical exposure

This study assessed the spatial distribution of vulnerability to extreme heat in 1990 and 2000 within metropolitan Phoenix based on an index of seven equally weighted measures of physical exposure and adaptive capacity. These measures were derived from spatially interpolated climate, normalized differential vegetation index, and U.S. Census data. From resulting vulnerability maps, we also analyzed population groups living in areas of high heat vulnerability. Results revealed that landscapes of heat vulnerability changed substantially in response to variations in physical and socioeconomic factors, with significant alterations to spatial distribution of vulnerability especially between eastern and western sectors of Phoenix. These changes worked to the detriment of Phoenix's Hispanic population and the elderly concentrated in urban-fringe retirement communities.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011-08-18

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Vulnerability to heat stress in urban areas: a sustainability perspective

Description

Extreme hot-weather events have become life-threatening natural phenomena in many cities around the world, and the health impacts of excessive heat are expected to increase with climate change (Huang et

Extreme hot-weather events have become life-threatening natural phenomena in many cities around the world, and the health impacts of excessive heat are expected to increase with climate change (Huang et al. 2011; Knowlton et al. 2007; Meehl and Tebaldi 2004; Patz 2005). Heat waves will likely have the worst health impacts in urban areas, where large numbers of vulnerable people reside and where local-scale urban heat island effects (UHI) retard and reduce nighttime cooling. This dissertation presents three empirical case studies that were conducted to advance our understanding of human vulnerability to heat in coupled human-natural systems. Using vulnerability theory as a framework, I analyzed how various social and environmental components of a system interact to exacerbate or mitigate heat impacts on human health, with the goal of contributing to the conceptualization of human vulnerability to heat. The studies: 1) compared the relationship between temperature and health outcomes in Chicago and Phoenix; 2) compared a map derived from a theoretical generic index of vulnerability to heat with a map derived from actual heat-related hospitalizations in Phoenix; and 3) used geospatial information on health data at two areal units to identify the hot spots for two heat health outcomes in Phoenix. The results show a 10-degree Celsius difference in the threshold temperatures at which heat-stress calls in Phoenix and Chicago are likely to increase drastically, and that Chicago is likely to be more sensitive to climate change than Phoenix. I also found that heat-vulnerability indices are sensitive to scale, measurement, and context, and that cities will need to incorporate place-based factors to increase the usefulness of vulnerability indices and mapping to decision making. Finally, I found that identification of geographical hot-spot of heat-related illness depends on the type of data used, scale of measurement, and normalization procedures. I recommend using multiple datasets and different approaches to spatial analysis to overcome this limitation and help decision makers develop effective intervention strategies.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013