Old man sitting on a street bench.
Photo: Pexels

HEAT: Heat stress in outdoor Environments - Planning the city of the older Adults Today and in a future warmer climate

Research project

Short description

City planning needs to ensure that citizens are protected from the excessive heat that can be created in urban areas. This is especially important when the future perspective is a warmer climate where heat waves become more frequent and more intense. The population group of older adults are particularly affected by heat risks, both because health risks are exacerbated by pre-existing medical conditions, and because they are more likely to have social environments that make them vulnerable to isolation. It is essential to account for the needs of this population group when adapting our cities to the climate changes taking place today, and those that are expected to come.

The aims of this 4 year project are to examine how heat waves and warm weather - today and in the future - affect older adults in Sweden, and to communicate how well-planned urban environments can reduce heat-related health effects and increase well-being. One essential part of the project is to work in close collaboration with stakeholders and civil society through participatory field studies, workshops and focus groups.

In this interdisciplinary project, experts from a number of different research fields such as urban climatology, epidemiology, architecture, psychology and occupational science will work toward a common goal to create good, attractive, climate-adapted outdoor environments so older adults - and, indeed all adults - can cope with heat in the cities in which they live.

The project is a collaboration between Gothenburg University, Umeå University, Jönköping University and Lund University.