Natural Hazards

, Volume 77, Issue 2, pp 823–831 | Cite as

Reducting risk from urban heat island effects in cities

  • Sarah-Maude Guindon
  • N. Nirupama
Original Paper


Many urban centers are at risk of heat wave events. These events are exacerbated in urban environments by the urban heat island effect (UHI) which is the built environment’s characteristic to store heat during the day and release it at night time, thus increasing the temperature. This study takes stock of UHI effect and evaluates the integration of mitigation measures with land use planning in two large cities of Canada, namely Montréal and Toronto. The two cities have been chosen because they have put in place active mitigation measures through a hot weather response plan in response to recent events of heat waves. The premise was that because the UHI effect is a built environment’s characteristic, it is possible to modify the built environment in order to reduce heat storage. Usually, local land use plans provide cities with development and redevelopment guidelines, implementation measures, and policies to be considered. The study also discusses most commonly used mitigation strategies and measures and their effectiveness.


Urban heat island effect Montreal Toronto Mitigation Risk 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Disaster and Emergency ManagementYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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