Today the Policy Studies Institute publish their research report Urban Heat: Developing the role of community groups in local climate resilience. It’s a readable, accessible and expert report.

TTT are proud to have been able to contribute to this valuable piece of work, hosting and facilitating community conversations, mainly in 2015, about the increasing risks posed by localised heat in cities – including neighbourhoods like Tooting – in our warming climate.

Cold weather challenges are much better recognised by most of us, including health and social care professionals, in terms of individuals’ vulnerability. So it was useful to be part of research showing that urban overheating is a significant risk, and we can take action to reduce its impact.

We commenced the project in a cold spell in winter two years ago, when the priorities seemed very different. It was hard to visualise that later the same summer we would hold a workshop near Tooting Broadway on the hottest day of 2015. Very appropriate!

Funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Urban Heat project examined the potential role of the local voluntary and community sector (VCS) in the development of local climate resilience.

In Tooting the research engaged with over a dozen relevant community organisations with diverse services and areas of focus: health care, social care, low-carbon living, community development. A number of local individuals were interviewed as well. Finally, a group of Wandsworth local authority and statutory organisations also explored the impact of Urban Heat.

To read our past TTT blog posts about the whole project since its inception, please click here.

Other partners in the Urban Heat research programme explored the same topic in Hackney and in West London, all co-facilitating alongside the Policy Studies Institute team.

Finally, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation funded a sister research project at the same time, about ‘Climate Resilient Communities’. This was developed in the context of local flooding in the Scottish Borders, mostly rural, but much of the experience and lessons are relevant to all communities working proactively with practical climate challenges. We’ll share that report when it is published.