2023: Urban Greening to Reduce Heat-related Morbidity and Mortality
Planting trees is an effective long-term strategy for mitigating extreme heat event (EHE)-related health effects in cities; however, this strategy requires a cohesive framework and evidence that links plant type, ambient temperature, and EHE-related morbidity. Current urban canopy models (UCMs) do not consider tree-species specific cooling mechanisms and location. To fill this gap, a team with expertise in plant ecology, urban climatology, and health services research and epidemiology will incorporate tree physiological traits and tree composition and structure into the UCM to predict ambient heat exposure at the census block scale during EHEs. This will be used to analyze the risk of health outcomes for adults during heat waves from 2015-22, followed by optimization in predictive models of which trees should be planted and where to most effectively reduce EHE-related health outcomes.