Executive Director ULI Boston/New England Boston, MA
A growing threat to urban environments around the world, the risks of Urban Heat Island (UHI) have received significantly less attention than other aspects of climate change, such as sea-level rise or extreme storm events. A neighborhood’s design greatly influences its risk level to the effects of rising temperatures, from decisions about land use and building density to the integration of blue/green infrastructure and the implications of surface materials. Urban Heat presents socio-economic challenges, especially for vulnerable communities already suffering from environmental injustice. An expert panel comprised of designers and policymakers will discuss strategies to reduce UHI that lead to improved health and wellness, mitigate environmental impacts, create comfortable public spaces, and result in more livable cities. The panel will share global best practices that cities like New York and Abu Dhabi are already implementing to mitigate UHI and how they can be adapted to Boston to inspire community action.
Clearly define the meaning and implications of Urban Heat Island, UTCI (Universal Thermal Climate Index), and outdoor thermal comfort.
Recognize the impacts of Urban Heat Island and factors contributing to its increase or decrease in urban areas.
Discuss design methodologies and strategies that can be employed while designing for extreme heat through case studies from different climatic regions.
Assess the environmental and policy mechanisms of Urban Heat Island adaptation and mitigation strategies.