Masterclass: Innovating in urban planning and governance for heat health

Extreme heat is an increasing climate risk for cities and the health of their residents across the world, due to the combination of the urban heat island (UHI) effect and climate change. Urban planning and design that considers urban heat mitigation can help cities increase their resilience to extreme heat in the built environment.

This masterclass will present the current state and innovations in urban planning, design and governance for extreme heat, offer insight into the diverse disciplinary perspectives on extreme heat governance, and offer strategies for enhancing community engagement for sustained extreme heat planning efforts.


Lecture 1

Lecture 2

Lecture 3

Download presentation (pptx)

Learning Objectives

  • To learn the current state of urban planning practice and research for extreme heat
  • To identify recent examples of urban planning and design innovations for heat health
  • To consider the diverse disciplinary perspectives on local extreme heat governance to improve public health outcomes
  • To select strategies for enhancing and evaluating community engagement related to planning for extreme heat

Further Resources

coming soon


Ladd Keith, University of Arizona

Ladd Keith, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Planning and Chair of Sustainable Built Environments at The University of Arizona. He is an interdisciplinary researcher working at the intersection of urban planning and climate science and explores how climate action planning can make more sustainable and resilient cities. He has contributed to the development and analysis of land use and development regulations, comprehensive plans, hazard mitigation plans, and climate action plans across the U.S. He is currently the principal investigator of an NOAA-funded research project evaluating the use of urban heat island maps in urban planning and is co-investigator on a project developing community climate profiles tailored to local needs.

Sara Meerow, Arizona State University

Sara Meerow is an assistant professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University. She is an interdisciplinary social-ecological systems scientist working at the intersection of urban geography and planning. Her research tackles the challenge of how to make cities more resilient in the face of climate change and other social and environmental hazards. She combines more conceptual studies of urban resilience with empirical research on the complexities of urban resilience, green infrastructure, and climate change adaptation planning in a range of cities.

David Hondula, Arizona State University

David Hondula is an Assistant Professor of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and Resilience Fellow at Arizona State University. His research focuses on the social and health effects of natural and technological hazards, with an emphasis on extreme heat and power failures. He works closely with local, regional, and state authorities on the development and implementation of plans and programs to make communities safer and more resilient to extreme events. Hondula received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, and has additional training from Queensland University of Technology, Australia, and Umea University, Sweden. He is an editorial board member for Environmental Health Perspectives and serves as a board member for the American Meteorological Society's Board on Environment and Health.


Roop Singh, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

Roop Singh is the Climate Risk Adviser at the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre and provides technical support to disaster managers and adaptation practitioners to access, interpret and use climate risk information for decision-making. Roop supports the Climate Centre’s urban portfolio with a focus on heat risk, and leads the Centre’s engagement on extreme event attribution. She has master’s degree in climate and society from Columbia University and a BSc in atmospheric science from Cornell University.