Sheltering Series #4: Temperature Impacts on Health, Productivity, and Infrastructure in the Urban Setting, and Options for Adaptation

Authors:  Lea Sabbag

Heat waves and warming temperatures pose a serious threat for human settlements worldwide, especially in urban environments. Research shows that increased temperatures, coupled with the urban heat island effect, can have a crippling effect on both biological and infrastructure systems. As the number of people living in cities continues to increase, so does the vulnerability of target groups susceptible to the impacts of heat. In an attempt to better understand the risks involved, the paper explores literature surrounding the implications of heat including morbidity, mortality, work productivity, and system failures. In addition, the paper highlights potential options for adaptation, which scale from the individual level to that of policy implementation, including the importance of managing impacts from a multi-stakeholder perspective. 


Sabbag, L. (2013).Temperature Impacts on Health, Productivity, and Infrastructure in the Urban Setting, and Options for Adaptation (The Sheltering Series No. 4). Boulder, CO. Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International.  

Funded by:

The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) Disclaimer: This document is an output from a project funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Netherlands Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) for the benefit of developing countries. However, the views expressed and information contained in it are not necessarily those of or endorsed by DFID, DGIS or the entities managing the delivery of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, which can accept no responsibility or liability for such views, completeness or accuracy of the information or for any reliance placed on them.

The Sheltering Series describes the background, policy landscape, methodology and approach used by the Sheltering From a Gathering Storm team and highlights key issues that were discovered and explored during the project in India, Pakistan, and Vietnam. Sheltering From a Gathering Storm aims to improve the understanding of the costs and benefits of climate-resilient shelter design, and contribute towards the transformative change necessary to make communities more resilient to future disasters. For more information about the project and other available materials, please see: 

Disclaimer: The Sheltering Series contains preliminary research and findings. These products are disseminated to catalyze discourse on timely issues. Most discussion papers undergo revisions, and some will be published formally in a different format. 


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