Urban Climate News

UCRC Student Poster Competition

We are excited to announce the call for abstracts for the UCRC 1st Annual Student Poster Competition on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at the Memorial Union, Alumni Lounge, Room #202.

The intent of this poster competition is to showcase the breadth of work around issues of urban climate at ASU. This includes all social and physical science aspects of urban climate and its interaction with society and infrastructure.

Poster Presentation


Eligible participants:

The poster session is intended to highlight urban climate research from undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs. Completed research is preferred. Posters outlining research not yet conducted must provide sufficient details on research design.

Abstract requirements:

Maximum 250 words

Important dates:

Abstract submission deadline: February 23, 2018

Notification of acceptance: February 28, 2018

Electronic submission and printing deadline: March 28, 2018

Follow this link to submit your Poster Abstract:
Submit your Abstract


We will be able to print your poster if you submit by March 28, 2018.


Two categories will be awarded: honor and merit awards. Honor awards will come with a monetary prize.

Anthony J. Brazel Urban Climate Lecture Series 2018

First Annual Anthony J. Brazel Urban Climate Lecture SeriesSue Grimmond

Featuring: Sue Grimmond
Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Reading, UK

Thursday, February 8 at 4:00 p.m.
ASU’s Biodesign Institute Auditorium
RSVP: urbanclimateresearch.eventbrite.com


Integrated Services for Weather and Climate in the Urban Environment
Rapid urbanization (over 6.3 billion urban residents are expected by 2050), combined with more frequent and more extreme climatic conditions, make cities places where most people are exposed to high impact weather (e.g. typhoons, heat stress, poor air quality events). Cities are centers of creativity and economic progress, but polluted air, flooding and other climate impacts mean urban residents also face significant weather, climate and environment-related challenges. Moreover, increasingly dense, complex and interdependent urban systems make cities particularly vulnerable: a single extreme event can lead to a widespread breakdown of a city’s infrastructure through inter-linked ‘domino’ effects. The complexity of urbanized environments presents enormous challenges to the provision of the necessary climate services to cities and regions and to the measurement and modelling of the urban environment. This presentation will provide an overview of recent research in urban hydrometeorology and climatology undertaken to meet the special needs of cities. Specific examples from London, UK and Shanghai, China will be presented.

Brief Biography – Sue Grimmond is a past President of the International Association of Urban Climate and past Lead Expert for the WMO on Urban and Building Climatology. She is on the editorial board of Urban Climate and has been an Editor for Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, and on the editorial boards of Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, Annals, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. In 2006, she was elected Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and awarded Doctor of Science Honoris Causa, from Göteborg University, Sweden. In 2008 she was awarded the Universitatis Lodziensis Amico Medal from University of Łódź, Poland. In 2009 she was the recipient of both the Helmut E Landsberg Award from the American Meteorological Society and the Luke Howard Award from the International Association for Urban Climate.

ICUC-10 Call for Abstracts

The AMS Board on the Urban Environment and the International Association for Urban Climate (IAUC) have issued a Call for Abstracts for the joint 10th International Conference on Urban Climate and 14th Symposium on the Urban Environment.

The conference will be held 6-10 August, 2018 in New York City. The abstract deadline is 15, December, 2017.

Detailed information, the and the link to the abstract submission portal are all available on the .


See you in New York!

Upcoming Seminar of note – Vanos on “Healthy Spaces in Hot Places”

On September 13, ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS), as part of their Sustainability Lecture Series, will be hosting a seminar by Jenni Vanos of UCSD, titled “Healthy Spaces in Hot Places”.

This presentation will focus on Dr. Vanos’ research at the intersection of human and environmental health in outdoor spaces. From lessening children’s vulnerability to extreme heat and UV radiation to mitigating heat and improving sustainability initiatives at the 2020 Olympics, Vanos will demonstrate applications of novel technologies to better assess ambient exposures and health risks.

Visit the GIOS site to RSVP.



UCRC Students to kick off new year with Fall Social

The UCRC will host a fall social for all undergraduate & graduate students and postdocs conducting urban climate research with affiliated faculty. This will be a great opportunity to connect, find opportunities, and re-energize as we enter the new semester.

When: Aug 30, 4:30-6:30pm

Where: Wrigley 102

Urban Climate Summer School

The Urban Climate Research Center at ASU is a proud co-organizer of the 2017 Urban Climate Summer School to be held 21-26 August, 2017 in Bucharest, Romania. The summer school will be hosted by the Research Institute of the University of Bucharest. The summer school is primarily intended for doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers who already have basic knowledge and interest for urban climate issues.

Join researchers from around the globe to gain skills in the systematic monitoring and assessment of urban climate change. Participants will benefit from utilizing state-of- art technologies to help understand the physical functionality of cities from the urban climate perspective

Participation is limited to 30 students.

Deadline for application: 15 May 2017

See website for details.

Urban Climate Student wins ISSR Poster Award!

The ISSR poster contest is hosted by the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) and is for graduate students at ASU conducting social science research in any field to present proposed and completed research.  This spring semester, 51 students competed and our own Mary Wright was one of 3 first-place winners!

Title: Indoor Temperature and Air Conditioning Use in Phoenix, AZ: A Household Study


Extreme heat is a climate-sensitive health hazard of concern in many cities around the world. Heat vulnerability is higher in many lower-income neighborhoods where vegetation coverage is lower and land surface temperatures are higher. Future health impacts from long-term stressors like global and urban-scale warming are expected to hit resource-constrained populations the hardest.  Despite knowledge that people in the developed world spend 90% of their time indoors, and that indoor exposure accounts for a sizable fraction of heat-related illnesses and deaths, very little is known about the thermal environment indoors, especially in private residences. Thus, the indoor environment is vital to understanding the thermal experience of individuals.

This poster investigates data collected for a project that aims to improve regional hazard resilience. Funded by an NSF Hazards-SEES grant, an interdisciplinary team of researchers at ASU, Georgia Tech, and University of Michigan are striving to uncover the specific social and environmental mechanisms that determine urban vulnerability when independent or coupled heat and power failure events occur. This poster shares preliminary findings from summer 2016 data collection in Phoenix, which involved household surveys, semi-structured vignette interviews, and indoor, outdoor, and personal temperature sensors. In particular, to address the gap in quantitatively backed literature examining the indoor thermal environment, indoor temperatures are investigated utilizing a two-stage clustering approach incorporating hourly mean, variance, and diurnal range.  Clustering reveals specific quantitative cooling profiles which are then matched with survey responses indicating degree of constraint on resources (such as air conditioning), risk perception, and demographic variable

George Denise of Oracle to give Sustainability Series Lecture – April 14

Sustainability Leadership: Managing for the 21st Century

George Denise

Director of Operations, Director of Sustainability, Oracle


George Denise, an advocate for sustainability and high-performance building operations, has been instrumental in 26 LEED certifications, 17 at the platinum level. He and/or the buildings under his management have also been the recipients of many awards, including the Building Owners and Managers Association’s International Earth Award, CoreNet Global’s Sustainable Leadership Award for Design and Development, and the State of California’s GEELA or Governor’s Energy and Economic Leadership Award.

Operating buildings efficiently conserves resources, reduces operating costs, and creates healthier work environments. In this talk, Denise will describe how different certifications and programs create more efficient buildings.

RSVP required
Lunch will be served.

Friday, April 14, 2017
1:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Tony Brazel Awarded Jeffrey Cook Prize!

Tony Brazel has been awarded the 2017 Jeffrey Cook Prize for Desert Architecture. This prize, sponsored by the Jeffrey Cook Foundation, was awarded at Ben-Gurion University during the workshop on “The challenges of climate responsive architecture in hotter and drier cities”, March 8-9, 2017.

The Cook Prize for Desert Architecture is named after the late Prof. Jeffrey Cook, who was a central figure in the field of passive and low-energy architecture and who, throughout his years in Arizona, had a special commitment to appropriate architectural design in the desert. The award is for lifetime contribution to a sustainable green environment.

Featured Research – Chester

A Simulation Platform to Enhance Infrastructure and Community Resilience to Extreme Heat Events: 

This summer Mikhail Chester and ASU colleagues Ariane Middel, David Hondula, along with David Eisenman of UCLA were awarded a new research grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a simulation platform to enhance infrastructure and community resilience to extreme heat events. We will highlight results as they become available. The NSF proposal abstract follows:


Exposure to heat is a growing public health concern in many cities across the globe. In the US, Southwest cities have experienced increasing numbers of heat waves in the past few decades, and global climate models project significant increases in both the duration and intensity of these extreme events. Facing these challenges, very little is known about how people are exposed to heat during their day-to-day activities as they interact with urban infrastructure. To understand exposure, factors including the types of homes people live in (and whether they have and use air conditioning), their mobility choices, the quality of the infrastructure (e.g., shading, landscaping, and material choice), their work situation (e.g., air conditioned office versus outdoor worker), and their activity profiles must be considered. A systematic framework that any city can use to understand how people are exposed to heat and proactively mitigate risk is needed.

To create insight into how people are exposed to heat, this work will develop an Urban Activity Heat Simulation (UAHS) platform that will join (1) a model of residential and workplace exposure, (2) travel simulations for automobile use, public transit, and biking/walking, (3) urban infrastructure characteristics, (4) high-resolution urban climate data, and (5) a model of exposure thresholds. UAHS will be developed using Phoenix, Arizona and Los Angeles, California as case studies. Heat performance models for buildings will be combined with surveys of home and work activities to assess how people experience heat indoors. Using national and regional travel surveys combined with detailed travel models, simulations of how people move throughout cities will be developed. Downscaled climate models will be used to estimate present and future outdoor conditions in both cities. Information on infrastructure including materials, landscaping, and shading will also be used to develop estimates of outdoor exposure. Combining simulated exposures with health records will provide new insight into dangerous heat exposure profiles. The platform will be validated with in situ monitoring. UAHS will be developed with the goal of enabling any city to build upon the platform for their unique population and infrastructure.