Urban Heat Islands: A Climate Change Adaptation Strategy For Montreal

Climate change is beginning to have noticeable adverse impacts on cities in Canada and across the world. Attempting to prevent climate change through mitigation efforts has ceased to be the only mission. Cities across the world must start to adapt to the new climates. Consequently, climate change adaptation has become an urgent issue on the policy agenda.

This report focuses on urban heat islands (UHI) as a specific problem expected to be exacerbated by climate change. An urban heat island is the phenomenon that occurs when the air temperature in an urban area is higher than in surrounding areas. Temperatures more than 5°C above the regional average have been deemed indicative of a UHI by Montreal climate scientists (Baudouin 2007). UHIs are a concern for several reasons, including increased human mortality and disease, poor air quality, damage to infrastructure, and increased energy consumption. However, public health concerns are far more serious than the other potential threats. Thus, this study adopts a human health focus in proposing UHI adaptation measures.

Suggested citation or credit:

Chan , Chee F. “Urban Heat Islands: A Climate Change Adaptation Strategy For Montreal .” McGill University School of Urban Planning, The Climate Change Action Partnership.  http://www.mcgill.ca/files/urbanplanning/CCAPUHIFinalReport-2007.pdf (accessed April 17, 2012).

Publication Date: December 2007

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