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Heat Vulnerable Areas of Las Vegas – Urban Comfort

Urban Heat Vulnerability Assessment of Las Vegas, Nevada

Why?

Located in the middle of the Mojave Desert, the driest of the four North American deserts, Las Vegas is the fastest-warming city in the United States. Before the 2008 housing crisis, hundreds of miles of desert landscape were paved over with heat-absorbing asphalt and concrete, worsening the “heat island” effect in the cauldron-like valley. Outward growth also led to vehicles motoring further across the sprawling metropolis, increasing heat-trapping carbon emissions. Clark County, by far the most populous county in Nevada, counts 2.3 millions inhabitants in 2020 (and is expected to reach 3m by 2060). To protect the population from heat events consequences, the authorities decided to take action.

Our methodology


1

We study the urban needs.


2

We define relevant indices to take into consideration for heat assessment.

Exposure

Measured by studying and quantifying the occurence of high temperatures within the city between 2015 and 2019

Sensitivity

Measured by studying the population density of individual particularly sensitive to heat : younger than 17 and older than 65 in this project

Adaptive Capacity

Measured by identifying greeneries and water-bodies. It represents the ability of the ecosystem to cope with heat events

3

Based on our algorithm, we map the sub-indices and combine them to create the Urban Heat Vulnerability Map.

4

We customise environmental solutions to cool down critical hotspots.

Vegetalise

Implementation of vegetation (trees, grass, green roofs and walls) creating protective shadows and evapotranspiration. 

Humidify

Implementation of water bodies within urban areas, acting like a heat captor to cool the city and improve the quality of life.

Brighten up

Implementation of different materials, colors, as well as shapes of structures and buildings to uptake heat from solar radiations.

Results and actions

25% of the population is highly vulnerable to extreme heat events 

The city of Las Vegas is planning to develop various initiatives to mitigate the phenomenon of extreme heat: 

  1.  Increasing trees and vegetation cover to lower surface and air temperatures by providing shade and cooling through evapotranspiration.
  2. Growing vegetation on rooftops to reduce temperatures of its surface and improve stormwater management. 
  3. Develop cool roofs: made of materials reflecting sunlight and heat away from a building, they reduce roof temperatures and lower energy consumption.
  4. Using cool pavement materials on sidewalks, parking lots, and streets to reduce the temperature of pavement surface and surrounding air, mitigate stormwater runoff and improve nighttime visibility.

Download the full report for free

Learn how we collaborated with the City of Las Vegas to fight against extreme heat impacts.

In this report, you will find:

  • A detail presentation of our methodology
  • The full range of maps used for the Urban Heat Vulnerability Assessment of Las Vegas
  • The ranking of the most vulnerable Urban Districts
  • Our guidance and the strategy adopted by the City of Las Vegas

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