The Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee (DfRR) of the American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter has published a report on how cities can adapt to extreme heat events.
The report recaps last November’s “Extreme Heat: Hot Cities – Adapting to a Hotter World” symposium, organized by DfRR at the Center for Architecture in New York City.
According to the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, this summer is going to be hotter than normal in the Northeast. What is considered normal, however, is being redefined after a string of record-breaking years.
DfRR’s “Extreme Heat: Hot Cities – Adapting to a Hotter World” symposium gathered architects, planners, engineers, and allied professionals in government, NGOs, manufacturing, research, and journalism to discuss how to address this growing risk through city and building planning and design.
The central question of the symposium was: “What can design professionals do to relieve the problems extreme heat creates?”
Sponsored by Autodesk, the Extreme Heat report summarizes keynotes and presentations by 30 experts on the dangerous effects of extreme heat.
The report also offers a multidisciplinary approach to extreme heat, focusing on science, policy, and design to discuss urban heat at different scales, from its impacts on the human body to its implications for buildings, infrastructure, and regional planning. The report calls for action, attention to adaptive mitigation, and the need for urban heat management.
For Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, and Illya Azaroff, AIA, DfRR’s Founding Co-chairs, “This report is a primer on issues related to extreme heat.”
“The dialogue from this symposium brought a new focus to heat risk planning in cities, and provided a stage for us to come together around concrete actions,” reads the preface by NYC Chief Resiliency Officer Daniel A. Zarrilli, who is also Senior Director for Climate Policy and Programs in the NYC Office of the Mayor.
Large cities are warming even faster because of the “heat islands” they generate.
“How can we create awareness and galvanize action in the face of this unavoidable change?” asks DfRR’s co-chair Joan Capelin, Hon. AIA, in the report’s closing essay.