650 Community Resilience in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA: The Analysis of Indoor Heat-Related Death and Urban Thermal Environment

Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Qunshan Zhao, Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ; and H. Fischer, W. Luo, P. Solis, and E. Wentz

The Knowledge Exchange for Resilience (KER) is an effort at Arizona State University to integrate resilience data collected from community stakeholders, social media, citizen science, and local and federal authoritative organization to identify and mitigate resilience threats to Maricopa County of Arizona, USA. This paper focuses on a case study of KER that aims to understand the communitive factors leading to indoor heat-related death in Maricopa County, AZ. The authoritative data we have include daytime land surface temperature and vegetation coverage (NDVI) from remotely sensed images, cooling center locations, socio-demography data from U.S. census, housing age and price, urban park, as well as the census-tract level indoor heat-related death data between 2012-2016 from Maricopa County Department of Public Health. With all of these local and federal authoritative data, we attempt to understand what demographic, residential, and urban infrastructure factors influence the indoor heat-related death and how we can reduce indoor heat-related health issues in Maricopa County. Poisson regression and geographically weighted Poisson regression (GWPR) were used to understand what factors lead to the high frequency of indoor heat-related death. The research results show more vegetation coverage could cool down the neighborhood and reduce the potential indoor heat-related death. The poor and the minority are more vulnerable to urban heat. The research results will provide a guideline for the next phase of urban thermal environment enhancement and urban green infrastructure improvement in the Maricopa County, and help mitigate urban heat for vulnerable populations and reduce the happen of indoor heat-related death in the future. In terms of future research, a citizen science project will recruit heat vulnerable population to track their heat exposure both qualitatively and quantitatively. Volunteers will be asked to carry air temperature sensors and GPS sensors with them for a week, combining with a detailed social survey and activity log to better understand the complex factors that lead individuals and families to need utility assistance or become more vulnerable to heat. This case study along with other aspects of the Knowledge Exchange is used to characterize the social, economic, and environmental vulnerabilities of the individuals in Maricopa County.
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