Extreme Heat Events Phoenix Arizona, USA


Urban heat islands are becoming an increasing threat to the health of residents with rising temperatures due to climate change. Phoenix AZ is one of the fasts growing cities in the United States and the state of Arizona has three to seven times more heat related deaths than the United States overall from 1993-2002 [1].

See more...
Basic Data
NameExtreme Heat Events Phoenix Arizona, USA
CountryUnited States of America
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Climate change related conflicts (glaciers and small islands)
Project Details and Actors
Project Area (in hectares)466,198
Type of PopulationUrban
Start Date01/01/1980
Relevant government actorsHealth and Human Services, HUD, NOAA, EPA, Arizona Department of Health Services,
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersMostly academic studies at this point. Activist involvement is limited and many organizations focus on services to the vulnerable communities. Arizona State University, Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services, Phoenix Heat Relief Network
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
When did the mobilization beginUNKNOWN
Groups MobilizingNeighbours/citizens/communities
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of MobilizationMedia based activism/alternative media
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Global warming
Health ImpactsVisible: Other Health impacts
Potential: Other environmental related diseases
OtherHigh asthma rates and heat stroke
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Displacement
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseTechnical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Application of existing regulations
Development of AlternativesPark development, cooling centers, heat health related education
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.There has still be very little concrete action taken on this issue at a state or city level.
Sources and Materials

Arizona Heat Emergency Response Plan
[click to view]


[1] Ruddell, Darren , Sharon Harlan, Susanne Grossman-Clarke, and Alexander Buyantuyev. "Risk and Exposure to Extreme Heat in Microclimates of Phoenix, AZ." In Geospatial techniques in urban hazard and disaster analysis. Dordrecht: Springer, 2010. 179-202.

Grossman-Clarke, Susanne, Joseph A. Zehnder, Thomas Loridan, and C. Sue B. Grimmond. "Contribution of Land Use Changes to Near-Surface Air Temperatures during Recent Summer Extreme Heat Events in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area." Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 49, no. 8 (2010): 1649-1664.

News article from summer of 2005 when the heat wave was responsible for 11 deaths
[click to view]

News article form record breaking temperatures during summer of 2013
[click to view]


ICLEI - Preparing for the Health Impacts of Increased Heat: Meeting Notes and Presentations From Phoenix Workshop
[click to view]

Other CommentsThis is one of the top 40 influential environmental justice cases in the United States identified from a national survey of environmental activists, scholars and other leaders by graduate students at the University of Michigan
Meta Information
ContributorKaty Hintzen, [email protected], University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment
Last update07/05/2015