Climate Change

European cities need better heatwave protection as summers get hotter – report

european cities need better heatwave protection as summers get hotter

Photo: dimitrisvetsikas1969 from Pixabay

Published

June 26, 2024

Country

Comments

comments icon

0

Share

Published:

June 26, 2024

Country:

Comments:

comments icon

0

Share

European cities are in urgent need for heatwave mitigation and resilience measures as the continent is becoming increasingly hotter, with temperatures rising at twice the global average rate, warns a new report by architecture and engineering consultancy Sweco. The measures, according to Sweco, should include digital innovation, nature-based solutions, green-blue infrastructure, and high-performing buildings.

Recalling that 2023 saw a record number of days with extreme heat, Sweco warns that heat-related mortality in Europe has increased about 30% in the past 20 years. In addition to significant risks to public health, heatwaves also have a negative effect on infrastructure and economic productivity in urban areas, according to the document.

The report, which studied 24 European cities, shows heat-related concerns are often overlooked in climate plans, and that cities in Northern Europe specifically are still designed to protect populations from the cold, not heat.

Sweco’s analysis revealed temperatures are expected to rise for each city from 2020–2100. The estimated increase in heatwave days for Copenhagen is 160%, compared to 150% for Stockholm, 140% for Oslo and 130% for Rotterdam and Brussels. The occurrence is seen doubling in Helsinki.

European cities need to focus more on protecting vulnerable groups

While the firm’s report shows some European cities are taking steps in the right direction, it notes that major gaps still have to be addressed. “European cities’ climate plans need to focus more on protecting vulnerable groups, by improving the cooling of facilities such as preschools, assisted living facilities and care homes,” it says.

Sweco’s key recommendations include increasing vulnerability mapping across cities and designing solutions at the building and neighborhood level to adapt urban spaces. This can be done by applying more nature-based solutions and green-blue infrastructure and updating regulations for new and existing buildings.

Cities need to work together to handle heatwaves effectively

The report further recommends that cities work together to address heatwaves effectively by investing in knowledge, data-driven heat management, and joint planning for handling heatwave crises. Authorities and policymakers must establish more efficient strategies to protect vulnerable populations, safeguard overall public health, and increase climate equality between groups, the consultancy pointed out.

Sweco also recalls that funding is available, given that EUR 680 billion of the European Union’s budget is allocated for climate-relevant measures during the 2021–2027 period.

Comments (0)

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Enter Your Comment
Please wait... Please fill in the required fields. There seems to be an error, please refresh the page and try again. Your comment has been sent.

Related Articles

Western Balkans Country Climate and Development Report CCDR

Western Balkans must invest USD 37 billion to protect people from escalating climate change impacts

18 July 2024 - World Bank Group has published the Western Balkans regional Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR)

heatwave power exchange prices see europe serbia

What is behind electricity price spike in SEE: grid issues, and something more

13 July 2024 - Record high temperatures aren't the main cause of the record price increase on power exchanges, ranging from 50% to 170%

Record broken for average global temperature in June

Record broken in June average global temperature

11 July 2024 - The average global temperature last month was the highest ever recorded for June. It was the 12th consecutive at or higher than 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial average.

Pope Francis to make Vatican energy independent with agrivoltaics

Pope Francis to make Vatican energy independent with agrivoltaics

28 June 2024 - The Vatican intends to achieve energy independence with solar power. Moreover, it is turning to a combination of agriculture and photovoltaics, according to Pope Francis.