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Modeling the Effects of Urban Design on Emergency Medical Response Calls during Extreme Heat Events in Toronto, Canada

School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, College of Architecture 3137, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3137, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: William C. Sullivan and Chun-Yen Chang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 778;
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 10 July 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 14 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Human Health)
PDF [30500 KB, uploaded 24 July 2017]


Urban residents are at risk of health-related illness during extreme heat events but the dangers are not equal in all parts of a city. Previous studies have found a relationship between physical characteristics of neighborhoods and the number of emergency medical response (EMR) calls. We used a human energy budget model to test the effects of landscape modifications that are designed to cool the environment on the expected number of EMR calls in two neighborhoods in Toronto, Canada during extreme heat events. The cooling design strategies reduced the energy overload on people by approximately 20–30 W m−2, resulting in an estimated 40–50% reduction in heat-related ambulance calls. These findings advance current understanding of the relationship between the urban landscape and human health and suggest straightforward design strategies to positively influence urban heat-health. View Full-Text
Keywords: landscape architecture; urban design; energy budget modeling landscape architecture; urban design; energy budget modeling

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Graham, D.A.; Vanos, J.K.; Kenny, N.A.; Brown, R.D. Modeling the Effects of Urban Design on Emergency Medical Response Calls during Extreme Heat Events in Toronto, Canada. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 778.

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