Protecting citizens from heat
Global heating is associated with more frequent, longer, and hotter heat waves. In many parts of Central and Southeastern Europe, the number of heat wave days increased by 10-15 days per decade between 1981 and 2010. This trend will continue and intensify. Tropical nights, when the temperature does not fall below 20 °C, will also increase. These heat wave events stress the human organism and increase health risks. While many people suffer from heat stress, certain groups of people are particularly at risk: These include the elderly and those with pre-existing physical conditions, people in need of care and those living in isolation, pregnant women, infants and young children, the homeless, people living in community shelters, and people who work outdoors. Economically and socially disadvantaged people are also more affected by the impacts of heat waves. Cities in central Europe need to adapt but many lack strategies and action plans to protect their citizens from heat.
The Ready4Heat project supports them to introduce short-, medium- and long-term measures with a focus on the most urgent issue: sudden heat waves. A special focus of the project is therefore on acute measures that can have an immediate effect in the event of heat. The project also makes proven and tested measures such as heat warning systems accessible to cities and helps them to adopt these quickly. The four pilot cities of Hajdúböszörmény (Hungary), Maribor (Slovenia), Weiz (Austria) and Worms (Germany), along with their technical partners working on climate change and health issues, will set up local networks of concerned groups to support each other and tackle the heat problem. They will also carry out various pilot actions: development of cooling green “urban islands” (Hajdúböszörmény), shading of a playground through the use of a green pergola (Maribor), the environmentally friendly cooling of rooms in a retirement home (Weiz), and the involvement of stakeholders within an urban area to build an active network (Worms).
Climate Alliance is actively involved in the project as a network partner and coordinates the identification of heat-vulnerable areas in the pilot cities, the involvement of stakeholders and the establishment of networks as well as public relations. Further project partners are the City of Worms (DE), City of Maribor (SI), City of Weiz (AT), Municipality of Hajdúböszörmény (HU), Development agency Sinergija (SI), Centre for Health and Development Murska Sabota (SI), Climate Alliance Styria (AT) and Reflex Environmental Association (HU).
Project funding period: March 2023 – February 2026
via the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE program, the total budget is €2,040,000, of which €1,632,000 are ERDF funds.
Want to learn more? Please contact us at ready4heat(at)climatealliance.org.