From the Mayor’s Office

Cli­mate change will cause ris­ing tem­per­a­tures and more fre­quent and intense heat waves, pos­ing a grow­ing chal­lenge in New York City, espe­cial­ly for our most vul­ner­a­ble res­i­dents. In May­or de Blasio’s One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City (OneNYC), the City is focused on ini­tia­tives to bet­ter under­stand and mit­i­gate the effects of extreme heat in our com­mu­ni­ties, and we know that the risk of death from extreme heat is high­est among those with­out ade­quate cool­ing, in neigh­bor­hoods with high­er pover­ty rates, and where there is less land cov­ered by trees and oth­er veg­e­ta­tion.

Extreme heat meets at the inter­sec­tion of sci­ence, pub­lic health and safe­ty, and qual­i­ty of life in cities and exac­er­bates social vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties. It there­fore requires inter­dis­ci­pli­nary responses—and any response to extreme heat must include res­i­dents impact­ed by heat, pol­i­cy-mak­ers, archi­tects, urban design­ers, and land­scape archi­tects. With this pro­gram Extreme Heat: Hot Cities – Adapt­ing to a Hot­ter World, DfRR and the design com­mu­ni­ty have pro­vid­ed a call to action for the design com­mu­ni­ty to play a role in solv­ing this chal­lenge.

The sym­po­sium was a con­ven­ing of lead­ers to focus on urban heat man­age­ment and need­ed respons­es by built envi­ron­ment and design experts to the imme­di­ate impact of heat waves. The City of New York is com­mit­ted to con­ven­ing and learn­ing best prac­tices from stake­hold­ers who are work­ing to address the risks asso­ci­at­ed with extreme heat, as shown with the launch of the City’s Urban Heat Island work­ing group.

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. We look for­ward to forg­ing new part­ner­ships and advanc­ing strate­gies to reduce heat vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty for all New York­ers.


Writ­ten by Daniel A. Zarril­li, PE, Senior Direc­tor, Cli­mate Pol­i­cy and Pro­grams