Monday, 7 January 2019: 9:30 AM
North 228AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Extreme heat is a growing challenge in American cities, especially in the Southwest. In 2018, the City of Phoenix identified heat as a pressing challenge to address through the Bloomberg Philanthropies U.S. Mayors Challenge. Phoenix joined more than 320 cities across the country proposing new ideas for tackling tough problems, and was one of 35 to advance to the Champion Cities phase. This presentation introduces the city’s HeatReady Framework, which can more comprehensively and effectively manage urban heat and its social and economic impacts. The concept, which was inspired by NOAA’s successful StormReady certification program, aims to provide a structure for how cities can identify, prepare for, mitigate, track, and respond to urban heat dangers This presentation also describes the city’s approach to the Champion Cities six-month “Test, Learn, and Adapt” process in which city staff prototyped critical components of the HeatReady concept. Citizen engagement and cross-sector collaboration emerged as critical components of the HeatReady process. The City partnered with university researchers to design testing activities and build capacity to receive and respond to resident feedback. The project team benefited from the use of low-cost prototypes that allowed for quicker iteration and more authentic feedback than traditional methods. Stakeholders from City departments, the local business community, and non profit organizations identified collaboration, policy support, and financial sustainability as prerequisites to long-term success.
The City of Phoenix is now completing its first ever HeatReady Evaluation, with a focus on five specific areas: Shade Cover, Education, Transit, Housing, and Emergency Preparedness. The Evaluation will guide the development and implementation of five pilot projects aimed to improve quality of life and reduce disparities in adverse health and well-being outcomes associated with heat in the city’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. Phoenix pilot projects will result in the generation of how-to guides that will be available in an open access repository where cities who are working diligently on extreme heat mitigation can collaborate. Phoenix seeks to accelerate knowledge sharing and strengthen a national community of practice among cities that seek to become HeatReady.
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