Auroop Ganguly’s student team at Northeastern University, led by Dr. Hanieh Hassanzadeh, has analyzed the importance of both social and physical factors in the occurrence of heatwave events in the town. Vulnerability and exposure parameters for each block include a combination of age, poverty, literacy level and the number of one-person households. Preliminary analysis shows correlations between the urban heat island (UHI) effect and social factors. In the coming weeks, the team plans to use predictive models of future land development to analyze possible changes in UHIs. By using different scenarios, they will then develop risk models for the aforementioned vulnerability and exposure parameters. The team will eventually suggest guidelines for heatwave action plans based on the town’s resources.
Morelli expects that the Northeastern team will be able to prepare a presentation for Brookline’s climate action team by mid-October. By early November, she anticipates being able to report to the Metro Mayors’ Coalition on extreme temperatures and their local impacts in Brookline. By the next update, Morelli expects that the team will have been able to draft a report for a general audience to understand Brookline’s vulnerabilities. This report will help to make a case for certain town policies.
Morelli expresses that Brookline would never have been able to have a research team at the forefront of this critical heat wave work and is grateful for the support of both Northeastern and TEX thus far.