Urban Inequality and Spatial Distribution of Heat Mortality in Brazilian Cities


  • World Resources Institute

Project summary

This project aims to understand the spatial relationship between neighborhood-scale heat mortality and neighborhood social and morphological characteristics in two Brazilian cities and, using these findings, inform public policy considerations at national and local scales. In addition, the project aims to implement a scalable engagement methodology to provide inputs to align research with needs, build local capacity for action and help design public policies and targeted interventions to mitigate impacts on health from extreme heat and other climate hazards.

The project team envisions a future where urban residents in Brazil and globally have the information, infrastructure, and capacity to be resilient in the face of extreme heat. Studies have shown that people who live in areas with poor housing quality, informal settlements, low education levels, and low socioeconomic status are more vulnerable to urban heat. Climate change will exacerbate this, but through understanding differential exposure and vulnerability to heat within cities, the worst health impacts can be avoided. Almost no evidence and research on this topic is available for Latin America, one of the most urbanized and unequal regions in the world. These aims together can substantially reduce heat-related illness and deaths to a fraction of what they would be otherwise.