Urban Heat: Developing the role of community groups in local climate resilience

Date of the report

February 2017

Author of the report

Urban Heat project

Purpose of the report

Funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), the Urban Heat project examined the potential role of the local voluntary and community sector (VCS) in the development of local climate resilience. The project focused specifically on urban heatwaves or ‘excess summer or hot weather deaths’ as a key risk that is likely to increase under climate change.
Community resilience – the idea of a range of individuals, voluntary and community sector (VCS) groups and institutions working together at a local scale to increase the community’s ability to prepare for, cope with and recover from adverse events or conditions – has been a policy objective within the Cabinet Office for more than five years. This report provides a compelling, evidence-based analysis of the untapped potential of the VCS to contribute more fully to local planning and practice in climate resilience and emergency planning. It also shares meaningful evidence of the value to policy stakeholders of participatory, action-based and community-based approaches and reflections on the ways in which the benefits of such approaches might be better appreciated in policy domains. 
The project was based on three London boroughs to build capacity and links between VCS groups and local institutions (particularly local authorities) who have a role in addressing heat, and to identify lessons which could be applied more generally throughout the country.
Access the webpage, executive summary and full report here

What SWM likes

Heatwaves are likely to become an increased risk with climate change especially in our cities with the added urban heat island effect. There are many vulnerable groups out there, such as the elderly, that need extra care and support during such events. If communities can engage and work together to reduce suffering and the number of fatalities due to extreme heat then our overall resilience and adaptability to climate change could be dramatically improved.