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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

The Future Fix: Preventing Extreme Heat Disaster

Spacing and Evergreen proudly present The Future Fix: Solutions for Communities Across Canada, a special podcast series.


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THIS EPISODE: Preventing Extreme Heat Disaster

With climate change leading to more frequent and more extreme climate events, predicting the next disaster and planning for it is essential. In many areas of the country, that means using data to anticipate extreme heat events, and give communities time to prepare.

Dr. Ryan Reynolds is the researcher behind Resilience Mapping Canada. Reynolds uses data and other tools to help communities prepare for climate events, extreme heat, flooding, and more. In determining who is most vulnerable in extreme heat, Reynolds says:

This includes the elderly (in B.C. we decided that was about 60 plus) that were most vulnerable… Another one is adults who live alone. They’re not necessarily being checked in on on a regular basis, so if they are having problems they might not be able to get assistance with that particular issue… Small children, particularly if they’re accidentally left in vehicles… Health factors: there are particular health and mental health conditions that are exacerbated by extreme heat.

Barbara Roden is mayor Village of Ashcroft, British Columbia. Ashcroft is actually a designated desert, so the community must be especially prepared for extreme heat events. To that end, they developed the Heat Alert Response Plan. For a small town, this presents challenges, but the village is embracing it. As Roden says:

People like the fact that we’re taking these steps, we are prepared. They just like to see their local government anticipating these things and being proactive, rather than reactive.

Listen to the episode to hear more about planning for extreme heat.

The Future Fix is a partnership between Spacing and Evergreen for the Community Solutions Network. As the program lead, Evergreen is working with Open North to help communities of all sizes across Canada navigate the smart cities landscape. The Community Solutions Network is supported with funding provided by the Government of Canada.