Designing decision support systems for community-based adaptation and resilience to heat in urban informal settlements
Prof. Dr. Marc Wolfram, Technische Universität Dresden
Extreme heat events are predicted to become more intense, longer-lasting and/or more frequent, with the increasing average global temperature. This phenomenon critically impacts the thermal environment in densely built urban areas, aggravated further by the urban heat island effect (UHI) characteristic of dense cities. The concurrence of heatwaves and drought is also rising. Among cities, the ones in the low-middle income countries (LMIC) are at higher risk, with a higher probability of extreme heat events and around 1 billion of their total urban population of 3.4 billion, living in slums and informal settlements. These more vulnerable settlements are also exposed to higher local temperatures as compared to other parts of the city, owing to high building density, poor roofing materials and limited open space and vegetation. With limited access to risk-reducing infrastructure and services, community-based adaptation (CbA) approaches are crucial for resilience development in these informal settlements.
However, there is a lack of relevant, intelligible and accessible climate information; the means to assess which adaptation solutions work, and their cost implication, time and resource requirement, all of which determines the success of CbA. The research addresses this by proposing a decision support system (DSS) that processes locally relevant data and information to actionable knowledge so that the community can assess the efficiency and feasibility of various heat mitigation measures. It uses a parametric urban model to simulate the improvement in outdoor thermal comfort when different measures are applied and calculates the cost-benefit over a period. The DSS utilises local resources and knowledge and envisions to enable community-based adaptation and resilience by bridging the institutional disconnect between research, governance and local-level stakeholders. It further aims to establish a process of learning such that the community/stakeholders are empowered to make an informed decision on which adaptation measures work for them, analysing trade-offs and the requirements for efficient implementation.
Doctoral Student at the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School (DLGS), join interdisciplinary facility of Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban Development (IOER) and TU Dresden, Germany
Studies in Integrated Urban Development & Design, Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany
Academic degree: Master of Science
08/2010 - 05/2015
Studies in Architecture and Built Environment, GGSIP University, New Delhi, India
Academic degree: Bachelor of Architecture
Student Research Assistant, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig, Germany
Project Architect, Ashok B Lall Architects, New Delhi, India
Junior Architect, PPAL Architects, New Delhi, India
Intern Architect, PPAL Architects, New Delhi, India
Nath, S. & Karutz, R., 2021. Using Fuzzy Cognitive Maps to Assess Liveability in Slum Upgrading Schemes: Case of Pune, India. Urban Science, 5(2), p.44. Available at: dx.doi.org/10.3390/urbansci5020044.