Modeling the effects of urban design on emergency medical response calls during extreme heat events in Toronto, Canada

Drew A. Graham, Jennifer K. Vanos, Natasha A. Kenny, Robert D. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number778
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume14
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 14 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Energy budget modelling
  • Landscape architecture
  • Urban design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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