Heat waves can be considered as an emerging challenge among the potential health risks generated by urbanization and climate changes. Heat waves are becoming more frequent, long and intense, and can be defined as meteorological extreme events consisting in prolonged time of extremely high temperatures in a particular region. The following paper addresses health threats due to heat waves presenting the case study of Lecce, a city located in Southern Italy; the Mediterranean area is already recognized in international literature as a hot-spot for climate changes. This work assesses the potential impact of two different adaptation strategies. Methods: We have tested the effectiveness of cool surfaces and urban forestry as adaptation approaches to cope with heat waves. The microclimate computer-based model “ENVI-met” was adopted to predict thermal scenarios arising from the two proposed interventions. The parameters analysed consisted in temperature and relative humidity. Results: Urban forestry approach seem to lower temperature (that represents the major cause of urban overheating) better than cool surfaces strategy, but relative humidity produced by the evapotranspiration processes of urban forestry has also negative influences on temperature perceived by pedestrians (thermal discomfort). Conclusion: Vegetation represents both an adaptation and a mitigation strategy to climate changes that guarantees an improvement of air quality, with consequent psychological and physical benefits. Wide campaigns aimed at planting trees and increasing the urban green coverage should be systematically planned and fostered by national, regional and local institutions preferably with the involvement of research departments, schools and citizens’ associations.

Heat waves and adaptation strategies in a Mediterranean urban context / G. Maggiotto, A. Miani, E. Rizzo, M.D. Castellone, P. Piscitelli. - In: ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH. - ISSN 0013-9351. - 197(2021 Jun), pp. 111066.1-111066.11.

Heat waves and adaptation strategies in a Mediterranean urban context

A. Miani
Secondo
;
2021-06

Abstract

Heat waves can be considered as an emerging challenge among the potential health risks generated by urbanization and climate changes. Heat waves are becoming more frequent, long and intense, and can be defined as meteorological extreme events consisting in prolonged time of extremely high temperatures in a particular region. The following paper addresses health threats due to heat waves presenting the case study of Lecce, a city located in Southern Italy; the Mediterranean area is already recognized in international literature as a hot-spot for climate changes. This work assesses the potential impact of two different adaptation strategies. Methods: We have tested the effectiveness of cool surfaces and urban forestry as adaptation approaches to cope with heat waves. The microclimate computer-based model “ENVI-met” was adopted to predict thermal scenarios arising from the two proposed interventions. The parameters analysed consisted in temperature and relative humidity. Results: Urban forestry approach seem to lower temperature (that represents the major cause of urban overheating) better than cool surfaces strategy, but relative humidity produced by the evapotranspiration processes of urban forestry has also negative influences on temperature perceived by pedestrians (thermal discomfort). Conclusion: Vegetation represents both an adaptation and a mitigation strategy to climate changes that guarantees an improvement of air quality, with consequent psychological and physical benefits. Wide campaigns aimed at planting trees and increasing the urban green coverage should be systematically planned and fostered by national, regional and local institutions preferably with the involvement of research departments, schools and citizens’ associations.
heat waves; health risks; adaptation strategies; cool surfaces; urban forestry
Settore MED/50 - Scienze Tecniche Mediche Applicate
29-mar-2021
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/829946
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