Assessment of Different Methodologies for Mapping Urban Heat

Vulnerability in Milan, Italy


Milan was selected as the study area as it boasts one of the highest economic outputs in Europe, promoted by rapid urban expansion which enhances the effects of extreme heat. In Milan, at planning level, there are three main documents considered as points of reference in defining key objectives and strategies against climate change: the city plan Piano di Governo del Terriotrio (PGT), the energy city plan Piano di Azione per l’Energia Sostenibile (PAES) and the sustainable mobility plan Piano Urbano della Mobilità Sostenibile (PUMS). According to these documents, Milan has problems related to climate change for many years. As a consequence, the city suffers some environmental changes that impact daily life of people.
We conducted this study in 2019, in collaboration with co-researchers F. Rotondo from Politecnico Milano and E. Gerasimova from Peter the Great St. Petersbourg Polytechnic University.

Research design, materials and methodology


Calculation and Mapping of Indices. 

Exposure (E)

This index represents the normalised average temperature prevailing in a given district obtained from at-brightness temperature

Sensitivity (S)

This index represents the percentage of highly vulnerable population. Two age groups were considered as vulnerable to heat: younger than 14 and older than 65

Adaptive Capacity (AC)

This index represents the ratio of area within a given district which is within the buffer of 1 km radius around a public hospital to the total area of the given district


For each of the 87 districts in the city of Milan, the heat vulnerabilities were represented by an index (UHVI) where 0 and 1 represent closeness to low and high vulnerability respectively. The variations in the results obtained from all the five formulas can be observed from these maps.

More findings in the full research publication

The paper presents different methodologies for mapping urban heat vulnerability for the City of Milan, Italy.

In this paper, you will find:

  • A presentation of different heat vulnerability frameworks
  • Analysis and discussion of results and scope for future work