Joyce Klein Rosenthal publishes on heat-related mortality in New York City

Examining urban heat vulnerability, assistant professor of urban planning Joyce Klein Rosenthal recently published “Intra-Urban Vulnerability to Heat-Related Mortality in New York City” in the journal Health and Place.

Unlike past research on this topic, Klein Rosenthal’s approach was very fine-grained, analyzing findings from specific New York City neighborhoods, as well as socioeconomic and demographic factors and the role of the built and biophysical environment. Through this process, Klein Rosenthal was able to see that some neighborhoods had higher rates of excess mortality (see map), and, importantly, poverty, micro-urban heat islands, race, and housing quality all contribute significantly to heat-related mortality.

Given the necessity of carbon mitigation policies, and of access to cooling during hot summer days to prevent heat-health effects, the research emphasizes the importance of design for the environment, suggesting key adaptive responses and modifiable exposures.