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The forthcoming century will see cities exposed to temperature rises from urbanisation as well as greenhouse gas induced radiative forcing. Increasing levels of urban heat will have a direct impact

The forthcoming century will see cities exposed to temperature rises from urbanisation as well as greenhouse gas induced radiative forcing. Increasing levels of urban heat will have a direct impact upon the people living in cities in terms of health, but will also have an indirect effect by impacting upon the critical infrastructure networks of the city itself (e.g., ICT, transport and energy). Some infrastructures are more resistant than others, but there is a growing reliance on the energy network to provide the power for all of our future critical infrastructure networks. Unfortunately, the energy network is far from resilient from the effects of urban heat and is set to face a perfect storm of increasing temperatures and loadings as demand increases for air conditioning, refrigeration, an electrified transport network and a high-speed ICT network. The result is that any failure on the energy network could quickly cascade across much of our critical infrastructure. System vulnerabilities will become increasingly apparent as the impacts of climate change begin to manifest and this paper calls for interdisciplinary action outlining the need for high resolution monitoring and modelling of the impact of urban heat on infrastructure.

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  • 2013-04-01
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