Online Program

Heating up: Climate change policy and funding tools for adapting to urban heat

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Sara Hoverter, JD, LLM, Harrison Institute for Public Law, Georgetown Law, Washington, DC
Climate change is making already hot urban areas even hotter. Vulnerable populations, including the elderly, young children, and the poor, are more susceptible to respiratory disease, heat stroke, and other health problems and less likely to be able to afford air conditioning. To protect these residents, cities are changing their built environments to reduce the effects of urban heat before it endangers lives: using cool roofs, green roofs, cool pavements, and urban forestry. Individually, each of these policies can help individuals adapt to urban heat; taken together, citywide adoption can drastically reduce the urban heat island itself, while providing co-benefits such as improved air quality and stormwater management. The Georgetown Climate Center has created a toolkit providing guidelines for local policymakers to choose which policy tools work best for their particular economic, environmental, and other circumstances, and to decide which legal tools (zoning, building codes, tax incentives, etc.) work best to increase their use. Drawing on our experience creating this tool kit, we have assisted local governments with 1) choosing the most appropriate tools given their environmental and public health priorities, and 2) assessing which tools are available to them under their current legal authority. In addition, in this era of stretched state and local budgets we have begun identifying and evaluating sources of funding to pay for this work, as well as financing structures to create the largest impact possible with those funds. Through this session, we hope that participants can take the tools available, the funding analysis, and the lessons learned in local jurisdictions around the country and begin to keep their own vulnerable citizens healthier and safer.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Program planning
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate options to protect vulnerable community members from increased heat due to climate change.

Keyword(s): Climate Change, Vulnerable Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working in this area for four years now and have worked with several local communities on their planning and implementation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.