Heat Waves and Climate Change

By Daniela Bruse Cities Climate change Heat stress

The increase of heat wave events, both in frequency and intensity, due to climate change is threat for cities around the world. But those cities that are already exposed to extreme climate conditions such as desert cities or cities on a hot and dry continent such as Sydney, are already experiencing what others might think of a theoretical future climate.

Without doubt, people will need to live in cities as this is the only economic and ecological reasonable solution to give homes to billions of individuals. But to make sure that the living conditions in urban areas will still be adequate in heat waves, rain storms or future climates, a radical rethink of cities needs to be done. Many cities have already started this process, from Paris to Barcelona, by limiting private vehicles and using reclaimed open space for greenery or other usage that suits people, not the car.

We nevertheless need to go further ahead at a faster speed that prior to the pandemic many people might not have thought possible. COVID-19 has already showed us how the world can quickly adapt to respond to a threat.