Understanding Urban Heat Vulnerability and the need for Resilient Design Practice
**Disclaimer: This blog post was adapted from a term paper for Dr. Christopher Scott's, Adaptation and Resilience in Water Resources Systems seminar GEOG 6960. **
The U.S. Southwest is rapidly becoming an urbanized region that is characterized by an intense urban heat island and summertime heat waves. At the city scale, high levels of urbanization in addition to local rising surface temperatures can affect the quality of life for several areas across residential communities, public and commercial spaces, etc. Heat within cities arises from different ways in which the built environment impacts energy exchange between the surface and atmosphere. This relationship causes unevenly distributed heat patterns across urban areas and some places tend to be hotter than others. Implementing green infrastructure shows promise to enhance the resiliency of urban areas (Benedict and McMahon, 2012). However, in several situations, the lack and disproportionality of green spaces withinin low-income, marginalized communities may further increase the vulnerability to heat and augment stress to communities that are already considered to be at a greater risk to heat (Read More).