Vulnerability to Heat Waves: Case Study of Plaine Commune

UNIVERSITE DE PARIS 1 PANTHEON-SORBONNE

MASTER ERASMUS MUNDUS SUSTAINABLE TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT

PARIS

2014

Director: Dr. Prof. Leo Dayan, Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Increased frequency and intensity of heat waves is one of the consequences of climate change which affect the territory of France, including the territory of agglomeration community Plaine Commune. Composed of nine cities to the North of Paris, the territory is characterized by socio-economic insecurity of its population; dense urban area is impacted by a significant heat exposure resulting from insufficient thermal quality of housing and because of urban heat island effect.

The territory is marked by the speed of economic development catching up after crisis and the growth of its population. As Plaine Commune is a part of the vanguard in the field of sustainable development in France, it represents an experimentation ground for policies of local management of global climate risks. Its experience could be analyzed and (not) be used on other territories, cities, counties or municipalities.

The purpose of this paper, based on a conceptual and technical research conducted on the territory over several months, using participatory observations and non-structured interviews with experts, is to identify and scrutinize the factors of vulnerability of Plaine Commune, analyze past impacts and future risks in order to build the base for adaptation strategies.

From this research, it appears that Plaine Commune is facing the risk of morbidity and loss of assets not only because of its today’s vulnerable condition, its vulnerability is likely to persist in future due to the growth and densification of population facing extreme weather events. The degree of vulnerability to heat waves is and will be stronger for people in precarious economic situation, the elderly, the disabled and marginalized population.

Although uncertain about the future climate change, as it depends both on local strategies and development plans and also on the complex interactions of choices and decisions made both on the local and on the higher levels of regulation, Plaine Commune not only takes the first step to adaptation by reducing the uncertainty about its current vulnerability to climate change, it dares to invest in and implement several adaptation measures that are expected on the long run both to improve the quality of life on the territory as well as to reduce social vulnerability.

 Key words: vulnerability, heat waves, climate change, risks, incertitude, adaptation

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES

LIST OF FIGURES

RÉSUMÉ

INTRODUCTION

i.i. What is the relevance and interest in choosing the particular territorial scale for the study?

i.ii. What is the relevance and interest in studying the vulnerability to heat waves of the particular territory of Plaine Commune?

i.iii. Hypotheses, research questions and presentation of the plan

METHODOLOGY

CHAPTER I. THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES ON VULNERABILITY TO HEAT WAVES AS CONSEQUENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE

I.1. CLIMATE CHANGE AND HEAT WAVES IN THE CONTEXT OF SUSTAINABLE TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT

I.2. MORE FREQUENT AND INTENSE HEAT WAVES AS CONSEQUENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE

I.2.1. Observed climate patterns in the world, in France and on the territory of Plaine Commune

I.2.2. Climate change projections in the world, in France and in Île-de-France

1.3. HEAT WAVES, OBSERVED IMPACTS AND FUTURE RISKS: HUMAN HEALTH, SECURITY, LIVELIHOOD AND ASSETS

I.3.1. Risk of mortality and morbidity during periods of extreme heat

I.3.2. Other risks linked to heat waves

I.4. VULNERABILITY TO CLIMATE CHANGE

I.4.1. Vulnerability to climate change: deconstruction of the concept

I.4.2. Vulnerability: conceptual framework

I.4.3. Factors contributing to vulnerability to climate change

CHAPTER II. PLAINE COMMUNE FACING THE CHALLENGE OF VULNERABILITY TO HEAT WAVES AS CONSEQUENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE

II.1. PRESENTATION OF PLAINE COMMUNE

II.1.1. Retrospective insights and current situation

II.1.1.1. Industry

II.1.1.2. Agriculture

II.1.1.3. Population of Plaine Commune

II.1.1.4. Urbanization patterns and identity alignment

II.1.1.5. Projected developmental trends of the territory of Plaine Commune in 21st century

II.2. SOCIO-ECONOMIC VULNERABILITY TO HEAT WAVES

II.2.1. Economic condition of households

II.2.2. Social isolation

II.2.3. Age

II.2.4. Health condition

II.3. INDOOR EXPOSURE TO HEAT

II.4. URBAN HEAT ISLAND EFFECT AND OUTDOOR HEAT WAVE EXPOSURE

II.4.1. Exposure reduction measures

II.5. Vulnerability diagnostics results, their strengths and fragility

CONCLUSIONS AND FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

Bibliography

  1. Books
  2. Articles
  3. Technical and Research Reports.
  4. Seminars, colloquiums, etc.
  5. Web sites and other sources

Annex 1  List of interviewed experts

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