Modeling the Effects of Urban Design on Emergency Medical Response Calls during Extreme Heat Events in Toronto, Canada

TitleModeling the Effects of Urban Design on Emergency Medical Response Calls during Extreme Heat Events in Toronto, Canada
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsGraham D.A, Vanos J.K, Kenny N.A, Brown R.D
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume14
Date Published2017/07
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1660-4601
Accession NumberWOS:000407370700110
Keywordscities; climate-change; energy budget modeling; health; island; landscape architecture; mortality; stress; Thermal comfort; urban design; vulnerability; waves
Abstract

Urban residents are at risk of health-related illness during extreme heat events but the dangers are not equal in all parts of a city. Previous studies have found a relationship between physical characteristics of neighborhoods and the number of emergency medical response (EMR) calls. We used a human energy budget model to test the effects of landscape modifications that are designed to cool the environment on the expected number of EMR calls in two neighborhoods in Toronto, Canada during extreme heat events. The cooling design strategies reduced the energy overload on people by approximately 20-30 W m(-2), resulting in an estimated 40-50% reduction in heat-related ambulance calls. These findings advance current understanding of the relationship between the urban landscape and human health and suggest straightforward design strategies to positively influence urban heat-health.

DOI10.3390/ijerph14070778
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