RCClimate’s Heatwave guide for Cities
The impacts of extreme heat are deadly, on the rise globally and preventable. In recent years, heatwaves have broken temperature records and led to the deaths of thousands of people. The 2003 European heatwave killed more than 70,000 people, and the 2015 heatwave in India reportedly killed over 2,500 people. These are likely underestimates since deaths from heatwaves are often not attributed to the heatwave, but to illnesses that are made worse by heat, such as heart disease.
This practical guide is designed with, and for, people working in city government to understand, reduce the risk of, and respond to, heatwaves in their cities. The guide provides information and recommendations for technical staff within city government, including on: working with partners to understand city-specific heatwave risks; operational approaches to prepare for an imminent heatwave; response strategies to reduce human harm during a heatwave; and ways to learn from a heatwave that has just ended. Case studies from cities around the world are included in this guide to highlight effective urban heat adaptation strategies, including early warning systems, climate-sensitive designs and public information campaigns. Throughout each chapter there are recommended actions that can be taken and online resources for more detailed guidance on heatwave risks.