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IDS Research Fellow appointed to new Technical Advisory Group on indoor heat risks

Published on 26 October 2022

IDS Cities Cluster Research Fellow Nausheen Anwar has been appointed to the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for a new project seeking to better protect people from the growing problem of overheating indoors. The project, titled Informing Decision-Making About Indoor Heat Risks to Human Health is being led in partnership with the World Health Organization, World Meteorological Organization, as well as Global Heat Health Information Network and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Nausheen joins a range of global experts on the project’s Technical Advisory Board from the fields of health, environmental planning, urban design and local government. The TAG will use its diverse expertise and opinions to shape the future direction and priorities of this project.

Increasing risks from high temperatures

Due to the ever-greater impacts of the climate crisis, people across the world are facing serious risks from the high temperatures they face inside their homes, schools, health facilities, care homes or prisons.  Evidence shows that some of the health risks from high indoor temperatures relate to respiratory health, diabetes and dementia, and that prolonged exposure to high temperature indoors may also be linked with poor sleep and domestic violence.

Commenting on why the project is needed, IDS Cities Cluster Research Fellow Nausheen Anwar said:

“The impact of extreme heat on vulnerable urban populations isn’t just about rising temperatures due to global warming. It’s also about the risks to health that arise from indoor heat exposure, which is linked with the complex arrangements and relationships between bodies, materials, architectures, and the socio-spatial inequalities embedded in histories of urban and infrastructural planning.”

This new project will seek to synthesize, clarify what options are available and make recommendations on key issues of public health protection from overheating in indoor spaces. It is hoped that the findings can provide decision-makers guidance to inform multi-sectoral policies in areas such as: climate change strategies, disaster risk reduction, fuel poverty, housing standards, energy efficiency, and behavioural and household cooling approaches.

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