Mapping Climate Vulnerability with Open Data: A Dashboard for Place-Based Action

  • Scott HawkenEmail author
  • Komali Yenneti
  • Carole Bodilis


Our understanding of climate change has been influenced by data like few other global phenomena. The scientific data on temperature, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, sea-level rise and global warming forms the evidence base for global climate agreements. Global scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change and the global policies’ emphasis on Open Data to meet climate goals have motivated the world to implement Open Data policies. However, the existing Open Data initiatives for climate action largely focus on continental regions and nation states rather than urban areas. A new paradigm of city-level Open Data initiatives is needed to ensure that societies can develop place-based actions to moderate climate change. This is because global climate change has drastic consequences for cities. In this chapter, we review the relevance of Open Data in urban vulnerability management and empowering cities as ‘centres of action’. We aim to unpack this relationship through the heat vulnerability index platform that we have developed using accessible public data. We use Sydney’s vulnerability to heat waves as a case study to demonstrate the index and its function as a powerful adaptation planning support tool.


Open Data Climate change Vulnerability Sydney Resilience Planning 



Australian Bureau of Statistics


Bureau of Meteorology


Greenhouse gas emissions


Greater Sydney Commission


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


New South Wales


Office for Environment and Heritage


Office of Local Governments


United States of America


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change



The authors would like to acknowledge the Joint European Master in Environmental Studies—Cities & Sustainability (JEMES CiSu) programme and the Smart Cities Cluster at the University of New South Wales who supported Carole Bodilis for a mobility internship during the second year of her Master’s degree. The authors would also like to acknowledge the comments from the three anonymous reviewers, which helped to significantly improve the chapter.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Urban Development and Design, Faculty of the Built EnvironmentUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.UNSW Built EnvironmentUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.University of AveiroAveiroPortugal

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