Heat and Urban Environmental Issues: Quick Guides for Air Pollution, Water Quality and Solid Waste Management
Over the past 50 years, hot days, hot nights, and heatwaves have become more frequent. Global average temperatures are expected to increase significantly by the 2050s, with particularly large increases in cities. Higher temperatures compound environmental problems with which cities are already grappling, including increased levels of air pollution and water contamination, and poor solid waste management. This convergence of higher temperatures and increased pollution levels will challenge city officials to manage the effects on human health, such as increases in respiratory and cardiovascular illness from air pollution, or increased risk of exposure to waterborne diseases from contaminated water.
The following three guides by the Adaptation Thought Leadership and Assessments (ATLAS)—developed in partnership with the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre in support of the Climate Centre’s Heatwave Guide for Cities—detail the impacts of heat on air pollution, water quality and solid waste management, and in turn the impacts of the these environmental issues on human health. The guides also detail the most vulnerable populations and locations worldwide, providing actionable recommendations for steps city officials and donors can take to reduce the risk from heat. To view the infographics in the corresponding Heatwaves in Cities series, click here.