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 journalArticle

    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

    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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