Creating a Model to Optimize and Evaluate the Heat-Reducing Capacity of Green Infrastructure

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. This is version 2 of this Preprint.


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Natasha Stamler


As global warming increases temperatures worldwide, cities are experiencing even greater temperatures due to the urban heat island effect, which is the trapping of heat in “gray” urban infrastructure. Cities are combatting this with green infrastructure (GI) initiatives, such as the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) GI initiative in New York City. However, these programs are often implemented based on convenience for local governments, rather than the heat vulnerability of different areas. This study evaluated the DEP GI program by creating a heat vulnerability index (HVI) that incorporates risk factors for New York City’s 188 Census neighborhoods, a much more accurate model than that of existing case studies, which use United Hospital Fund neighborhoods. Additionally, the number of current GI sites in each neighborhood was counted to extrapolate a control HVI. By comparing the created and control HVI values for each neighborhood, the effectiveness of the program and the number of GI sites needed in each neighborhood were found. Only 11% of neighborhoods had an acceptable number of GI sites and 75% of neighborhoods were significantly in need of GI. A multicriteria decision analysis was then performed by using the number of additional sites needed in each neighborhood and geographical features to propose locations for new sites. GI was discovered to be needed most in the Eastern Bronx and Southern Brooklyn and least in Central Queens and Lower Manhattan.



Civil and Environmental Engineering, Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Public Health, Environmental Studies, Medicine and Health Sciences, Public Health, Social and Behavioral Sciences


Urban Heat Island, Urban planning, Green infrastrucutre, Heat vulnerability, New York City


Published: 2018-09-10 13:53

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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