Plan Integration for Resilience Scorecard for Heat (PIRSH)

Sample figure of the PIRSH methodology with data from Tucson, AZ.

Research Team | PI: Ladd Keith; Co-I: Sara Meerow and Joseph DeAngelis; Project Advisor: Philip Berke; Graduate Research Assistant: Erika Lynn Schmidt, Shaylynn Trego, and Lauren Jensen

Funding | U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Description | While many states and local governments are developing strategies to address urban heat, there is little collaboration within communities. The lack of coordination on urban heat resilience can result in ineffective heat mitigation, or worse, contribute to urban heat in areas of highest risk. To help bridge these disparate efforts, University of Arizona researchers are leading an effort called Plan Integration for Resilience Scorecard for Heat, or PIRSH. The team’s research will build from a method recently adopted by the American Planning Association (APA) as a national standard and resource for building local capacity to integrate resilience planning across sectors, which has been successfully applied to flood planning.

PIRSH will help communities systematically evaluate their current heat mitigation strategies across relevant plans, compare the combined effect of those strategies with heat risk data (including data from NOAA’s community-led urban heat mapping campaigns), and identify opportunities for improved planning. This will help communities bring together traditionally siloed disciplines and align their urban heat resilience efforts to reduce the negative health, economic, and environmental impacts of heat. PIRSH has been piloted in Tucson, Arizona, and will now be expanded to five other geographically distinct U.S. cities: Baltimore, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, and Seattle. Ultimately, the team will work with APA to disseminate the PIRSH methodology to over 46,000 APA members across the U.S. and beyond.

More information


  • Keith, Ladd and Sara Meerow. 2021. 8 Strategies to Beat the (Extreme) Heat. Planning. Winter 2021, 12-14.
  • Keith, Ladd and Sara Meerow. 2021. QuickNotes: Urban Heat Resilience. American Planning Association (APA), Planning Advisory Service (PAS).