The University of Arizona

Evaluating the Use of Urban Heat Island and Heat Increase Modeling in Land Use and Planning Decision-Making | CLIMAS

Evaluating the Use of Urban Heat Island and Heat Increase Modeling in Land Use and Planning Decision-Making

Evaluating the Use of Urban Heat Island and Heat Increase Modeling in Land Use and Planning Decision-Making

CLIMAS Lead:  

The impacts of the urban heat island (UHI) are well documented, including increases in heat-related public health issues, stresses on urban ecology, and energy usage to mitigate the higher temperatures. UHI is of particular concern to cities in the Southwest, since it counteracts the cooling that otherwise normally occurs at night. UHI has become an important consideration in land use planning aimed at creating more sustainable communities, but gaps remain in terms of how UHI information is being used in land use and development decisions in urban planning. Current strategies to deal with heat impacts are often overly broad, and have no direct relationship to the locations driving causes and impacts of UHI. This project will  pilot a process in two cities in order to examine the feasibility of utilizing UHI and heat increase models as considerations in day-to-day land use planning.

Central Question: How can urban heat island models be utilized in day-to-day processes by planners in the Southwest?