Kevin Burchell (Senior Research Fellow) said, "The research will investigate how communities, working with local resources and expertise, can help themselves and others to prepare for, respond to, and recover from extreme hot weather."
The effects of heatwaves can be devastating – in 2003, an estimated 70,000 people in Western Europe died because of the extremely hot weather. Due to climate change, the Met Office estimates that heatwaves are much more likely in Europe than they have been in the past. Older people, people who are ill, disabled people and babies are particularly vulnerable to extreme heat, and London (due to its size and location) is particularly vulnerable to hot weather.
The research team will be working with local community groups in workshops in Hounslow, Wandsworth and Hackney to explore how communities can become more resilient to heatwaves. They will investigate whether community responses to heatwaves can be integrated with existing institutional responses, and will be presenting the ideas generated by community groups to the local council, emergency services, and other public bodies to create a long-term local legacy for the project.