Tornado Recovery Emphasizing Urban and Climate Resilience

The report from the Urban Land Institute Advisory Services Panel I led August 10-12, 2020 on increasing the urban and climate resilience of Walnut Hill/Denton Drive Dallas Area Rapid Transit station in Dallas, TX is now out!

Download Full Report

ULI was asked by the City of Dallas to convene a Virtual Advisory Services Panel (vASP) focusing on a study area around the Walnut Hill/Denton Drive Dallas Area Rapid Transit station. Our panel was asked to provide recommendations on how to promote greater social cohesion within the study area’s business and demographic populations while promoting climate resilience and environmental justice. 

Summary of Recommendations

  • Foster an authentic sense of place along with a sense of community;
  • Make the area safe and welcoming through supportive strategies;
  • Provide connectivity and address climate resilience through ecological, placemaking and infrastructure enhancements
  • Adapt the study area to increasing extreme heat and flooding through green and resilient parks and open spaces
  • Enhance mobility within the study area; and
  • Encourage commercial and residential development that enlivens the transit station and surrounding area, increases housing choice, and supports the community’s vision.

America Adapts Podcast: 2020 Climate Year in Review

Check out the latest America Adapts podcast 2020 climate year in review episode, where I join Doug Parsons and guest Dakota Larrick, archeology graduate student at the University of Oklahoma! We discuss our top climate stories, favorite episodes, and what’s next for adaptation in 2021.

Listen to the episode on the America Adapts websiteSpotify, or Apple Podcasts.


Planning for extreme heat: A review

Check out my new open access literature review paper with Sara Meerow and Tess Wagner, where we present the current state of planning for extreme heat, find many papers focused on mapping and modeling heat but far less on urban planning and governance, and discuss challenges and opportunities in research and practice!


Extreme heat is a growing concern for cities, with both climate change and the urban heat island (UHI) effect increasingly impacting public health, economies, urban infrastructure, and urban ecology. To better understand the current state of planning for extreme heat, we conducted a systematic literature review. We found that most of the research focuses on UHI mapping and modeling, while few studies delve into extreme heat planning and governance processes. An in-depth review of this literature reveals common institutional, policy, and informational barriers and strategies for overcoming them. Identified challenges include siloed heat governance and research that limit cross-governmental and interdisciplinary collaboration; complex, context-specific, and diverse heat resilience strategies; the need to combine extreme heat “risk management” strategies (focused on preparing and responding to extreme heat events) and “design of the built environment” strategies (spatial planning and design interventions that intentionally reduce urban temperatures); and the need for extensive, multidisciplinary data and tools that are often not readily available. These challenges point to several avenues for future heat planning research. Ultimately, we argue that planners have an important role to play in building heat resilience and conclude by identifying areas where scholars and practitioners can work together to advance our understanding of extreme heat planning.


Keith, Ladd, Sara Meerow, and Tess Wagner. 2020. Planning for extreme heat: A review. Journal of Extreme Events. 6(3&4), 2050003.