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Phoenix Regional Heat Mitigation, Planning, and Response Research


This archives houses peer-reviewed literature, data sets, reports, and other materials generated by ASU researchers that may be informative for local and regional efforts mitigating the adverse impacts of heat. The collection is intended to serve as a resource for students, faculty, and staff collaborating on research initiatives related to heat as well as for community, local, state, and regional partners and other interested parties contributing to heat planning, preparedness, and response activities.


Date Range
1987 2017


Preventing heat-associated morbidity and mortality is a public health priority in Maricopa County, Arizona (United States). The objective of this project was to evaluate Maricopa County cooling centers and gain insight into their capacity to provide relief for the public during extreme heat events. During the summer of 2014, 53 cooling centers were evaluated to assess facility and visitor characteristics. Maricopa County staff collected data by directly observing daily operations and by surveying managers and visitors. The cooling centers in Maricopa County were often housed within community, senior, or religious centers, which offered various services for at least 1500 individuals ...

Contributors
Berisha, Vjollca, Hondula, David, Roach, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2016-09-23

We investigated the spatial and temporal variation in June mean minimum temperatures for weather stations in and around metropolitan Phoenix, USA, for the period 1990 to 2004. Temperature was related to synoptic conditions, location in urban development zones (DZs), and the pace of housing construction in a 1 km buffer around fixed-point temperature stations. June is typically clear and calm, and dominated by a dry, tropical air mass with little change in minimum temperature from day to day. However, a dry, moderate weather type accounted for a large portion of the inter-annual variability in mean monthly minimum temperature. Significant temperature ...

Contributors
Brazel, Anthony, Gober, Patricia, Lee, Seung-Jae, et al.
Created Date
2007-02-22

This review investigates the possible reasons and motivations underpinning the large body of work, as well as summarizing specific themes, approaches, and theoretical contributions arising from such study.

Contributors
Chow, Winston T. L., Brennan, Dean, Brazel, Anthony J.
Created Date
2011-08-18

Background: Vulnerability mapping based on vulnerability indices is a pragmatic approach for highlighting the areas in a city where people are at the greatest risk of harm from heat, but the manner in which vulnerability is conceptualized influences the results. Objectives: We tested a generic national heat-vulnerability index, based on a 10-variable indicator framework, using data on heat-related hospitalizations in Phoenix, Arizona. We also identified potential local risk factors not included in the generic indicators. Methods: To evaluate the accuracy of the generic index in a city-specific context, we used factor scores, derived from a factor analysis using census tract–level ...

Contributors
Chuang, Wen-Ching, Gober, Patricia
Created Date
2015-06-01

We conducted microclimate simulations in ENVI-Met 3.1 to evaluate the impact of vegetation in lowering temperatures during an extreme heat event in an urban core neighborhood park in Phoenix, Arizona. We predicted air and surface temperatures under two different vegetation regimes: existing conditions representative of Phoenix urban core neighborhoods, and a proposed scenario informed by principles of landscape design and architecture and Urban Heat Island mitigation strategies. We found significant potential air and surface temperature reductions between representative and proposed vegetation scenarios: 1) a Park Cool Island effect that extended to non-vegetated surfaces; 2) a net cooling of air underneath ...

Contributors
Declet-Barreto, Juan, Brazel, Anthony J., Martin, Chris A., et al.
Created Date
2012-12-21

Access to air conditioned space is critical for protecting urban populations from the adverse effects of heat exposure. Yet there remains fairly limited knowledge of the penetration of private (home air conditioning) and distribution of public (cooling centers and commercial space) cooled space across cities. Furthermore, the deployment of government-sponsored cooling centers is likely to be inadequately informed with respect to the location of existing cooling resources (residential air conditioning and air conditioned public space), raising questions of the equitability of access to heat refuges. We explore the distribution of private and public cooling resources and access inequities at the ...

Contributors
Fraser, Andrew M., Chester, Mikhail V., Eisenman, David, et al.
Created Date
2016-07-15

Objectives: To provide novel quantification and advanced measurements of surface temperatures (Ts) in playgrounds, employing multiple scales of data, and provide insight into hot-hazard mitigation techniques and designs for improved environmental and public health. Methods: We conduct an analysis of Ts in two Metro-Phoenix playgrounds at three scales: neighborhood (1 km resolution), microscale (6.8 m resolution), and touch-scale (1 cm resolution). Data were derived from two sources: airborne remote sensing (neighborhood and microscale) and in situ (playground site) infrared Ts (touch-scale). Metrics of surface-to-air temperature deltas (Ts–a) and scale offsets (errors) are introduced. Results: Select in situ Ts in direct ...

Contributors
Vanos, Jennifer K., Middel, Ariane, McKercher, Grant R., et al.
Created Date
2015-11-10

Engineered pavements cover a large fraction of cities and offer significant potential for urban heat island mitigation. Though rapidly increasing research efforts have been devoted to the study of pavement materials, thermal interactions between buildings and the ambient environment are mostly neglected. In this study, numerical models featuring a realistic representation of building-environment thermal interactions, were applied to quantify the effect of pavements on the urban thermal environment at multiple scales. It was found that performance of pavements inside the canyon was largely determined by the canyon geometry. In a high-density residential area, modifying pavements had insignificant effect on the ...

Contributors
Yang, Jiachuan, Wang, Zhi-Hua, Kaloush, Kamil E., et al.
Created Date
2016-08-22

The urban heat island effect is especially significant in semi-arid climates, generating a myriad of problems for large urban areas. Green space can mitigate warming, providing cooling benefits important to reducing energy consumption and improving human health. The arrangement of green space to reap the full potential of cooling benefits is a challenge, especially considering the diurnal variations of urban heat island effects. Surprisingly, methods that support the strategic placement of green space in the context of urban heat island are lacking. Integrating geographic information systems, remote sensing, spatial statistics and spatial optimization, we developed a framework to identify the ...

Contributors
Zhang, Yujia, Murray, Alan T., Turner, II, B.L.
Created Date
2017-07-31

Maricopa County, Arizona, anchor to the fastest growing megapolitan area in the United States, is located in a hot desert climate where extreme temperatures are associated with elevated risk of mortality. Continued urbanization in the region will impact atmospheric temperatures and, as a result, potentially affect human health. We aimed to quantify the number of excess deaths attributable to heat in Maricopa County based on three future urbanization and adaptation scenarios and multiple exposure variables. Two scenarios (low and high growth projections) represent the maximum possible uncertainty range associated with urbanization in central Arizona, and a third represents the adaptation ...

Contributors
Hondula, David M., Georgescu, Matei, Balling, Jr., Robert C.
Created Date
2014-04-28