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Societal Resilience

Adapting to Extreme Heat in Philadelphia to Increase Human Vitality

Philadelphia Heat Vulnerability Index

The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability (OOS) has identified increased precipitation/flooding and higher temperatures as the main dangers of climate change to Philadelphia, with underserved neighborhoods inhabited primarly by Black and brown residents at risk for the worst effects. Many organizations, operating at multiple levels, are tracking extreme heat, with urban areas being of special concern. Cites are temperature hotspots that house large (and often increasing dense) populations. This community is led by Russell Composto, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Professor at Penn Engineering, and Kristin Field, Director of Education of PIRE REACT Program and the Singh Center for Nanotechnology. Together with the leadership of the Penn Institute for Urban Research (Co-Directors and Professors Eugenie Birch and Susan Wachter and Managing Director Amy Montgomery), they seek to deepen connections with OOS to determine whether Penn’s faculty and students could contribute to the immediate and longer-term City plans for adaptation to extreme heat events. This community of experts focusing on Philadelphia addresses an urgent need in our local community, and one with undeniable global relevance.

Read about other heat activities here.

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Previous Communities

"The problem requires all of us to work together across disciplines to address urban heat with technological solutions, community engagement, smart regulations, and social science" -R. Composto