Abstract:Heat is the leading cause of weather-related mortality in the U.S. and poses a significant threat to public health. Future population exposure to extreme heat is expected to increase as rapid urbanization continues. Heat waves are projected to last longer and become more intense and more frequent, challenging the resilience of urban systems. This presentation will provide an overview of past, current and future research at ASU’s new SHADE research lab that addresses the nature of heat and the challenges it creates for existing and future cities. SHADE explores this “hot” topic in three dimensions: heat as it can be sensed by biometeorological instrumentation, heat as it is experienced by humans and heat as it can be modeled using microclimate simulations. Using Phoenix as a sandbox, SHADE research highlights the importance of microclimate-responsive urban design for creating pedestrian-friendly outdoor spaces and building heat-resilient “climate smart” cities.
Bio:Ariane Middel is an assistant professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering with a joint appointment in the School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering. Previously, she was an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Urban Studies at Temple University. She received her doctorate in computer science from the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany, and holds a Master of Science in engineering from the University of Bonn, Germany. Middel’s research interests lie in the interdisciplinary field of urban climate with a focus on climate-sensitive urban form, design, landscapes and infrastructure in the face of extreme heat and climatic uncertainty. Her ongoing work is focused on developing better models and metrics to quantify urban “heatscapes” as they are experienced by pedestrians. She currently develops a thermal comfort model based on an innovative big data approach using Street View data, deep learning and novel environmental sensing techniques such as her biometeorological “MaRTy” cart. Middel is an active member of the Urban Climate Research Center at ASU and currently serves a four-year term (2016–20) on the Board of the International Association of Urban Climate.