Planning for Urban Heat Resilience

I am thrilled to share that Planning Advisory Service (PAS) Report 600: Planning for Urban Heat Resilience has been published by the American Planning Association! My co-author, Sara Meerow, and I argue that the planning profession has a critical role to play in equitably addressing increasing heat risk and lay out the steps communities can take to either start heat planning or improve their current efforts.

An excerpt from our Executive Summary:

Heat poses a growing and inequitable threat. Cities around the world must plan now to increase urban heat resilience in the face of climate change and the UHI effect. Planners are well positioned to use existing regulatory tools and plans to mitigate the inequitably distributed risk associated with the UHI effect, reduce greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change, and help prepare for extreme heat events. This PAS Report equips planners with the background knowledge, planning framework, and catalog of comprehensive approaches to heat mitigation and management they need to work effectively with colleagues across agencies and sectors and advance urban heat resilience in their communities.

(Keith and Meerow, 2022 page 8)

Our guidebook draws from the latest research on extreme heat and heat planning and includes practical examples and case studies that show how communities across the United States are planning for heat. It is an honor to have written APA’s first-ever comprehensive guidance on heat planning with Sara and we hope that planners, allied professionals, and community members find it a helpful resource.

Planning for Urban Heat Resilience is available as a free download thanks to a grant from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).