2020 Urban Research Award: Urban Heat Exposure, Cooling Demand and Electricity Consumption under Future Climate Change: an Empirical Approach

PI: Yasmin Romitti, PhD student, Department of Earth and Environment, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and BU URBAN Program
Co-PIs: Ian Sue Wing, PhD, MSc, Professor, Department of Earth and Environment, College of Arts & Sciences; Dan Li, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Environment, College of Arts & Sciences

photo of Yasmin Romitti
Yasmin Romitti

Can cities adapt in sustainable ways to the impacts of climate change? Different cities across the world will face different health risks due to rising temperatures, and urban populations will have varied adaptation options over the time-frames in which temperatures will increase. Such heterogeneity suggests the need for differentiated approaches to urban energy infrastructure decisions in a warming climate. The researchers will quantify the energy demand consequences of urban populations’ attempts to avert the health impacts of high temperature exposures, and what actions are likely necessary for cities to meet that demand. By demonstrating shifts in not just the total but peak electricity demand that will determine the sizing of generation and transmission capacity, this work aims to provide information to planners and decision makers that will be important to making long-term investment decisions.