Urban climate change phenomena, exacerbated by increasingly frequent heat waves, represent an urgent environmental research issue to be further investigated and counteracted through multidisciplinary approaches covering both engineering and socio-environmental sciences. After acknowledging that Urban Heat Island hugely affects building thermal-energy behavior, recent contributions deal with its effect on vulnerable population groups in terms of their exposure risk to health diseases even worsened by energy poverty. In this view, the paper investigates the role played by occupants’ education and their knowledge of environmental risks and climate change-related events, by exploring the opportunity to improve their information level as trigger for improving their climate change behavioral resilience and reducing their health risk in the built environment during extreme events. To this aim, a novel widespread questionnaire was elaborated and submitted to more than 300 individuals with varying their educational background and personal characteristics, seasonal period, submission mode, temporal closeness to heat wave emergency. Key findings showed that participants’ educational background represents a clear way to drive environmentally aware behaviors minimizing the consequent health risk imputable to urban overheating and other environmental hazards such as heat waves. In fact, a higher level of awareness and consciousness may lead to a better adaptation capability to such climate change related hazards since they tend to implement conscious and resilient behavioral attitudes to minimize their indoor thermal stress at home (0.8 versus 1.4 points awareness level about mitigation strategies). Therefore, this paper demonstrated that informative campaigns may represent an effective strategy for making building occupants more resilient to climate change toward dedicated environmental management solutions and policies taking advantage of educational vehicles.

The role of building occupants' education in their resilience to climate-change related events

Pisello A. L.
;
Rosso F.;Castaldo V. L.;Piselli C.;Fabiani C.;Cotana F.
2017

Abstract

Urban climate change phenomena, exacerbated by increasingly frequent heat waves, represent an urgent environmental research issue to be further investigated and counteracted through multidisciplinary approaches covering both engineering and socio-environmental sciences. After acknowledging that Urban Heat Island hugely affects building thermal-energy behavior, recent contributions deal with its effect on vulnerable population groups in terms of their exposure risk to health diseases even worsened by energy poverty. In this view, the paper investigates the role played by occupants’ education and their knowledge of environmental risks and climate change-related events, by exploring the opportunity to improve their information level as trigger for improving their climate change behavioral resilience and reducing their health risk in the built environment during extreme events. To this aim, a novel widespread questionnaire was elaborated and submitted to more than 300 individuals with varying their educational background and personal characteristics, seasonal period, submission mode, temporal closeness to heat wave emergency. Key findings showed that participants’ educational background represents a clear way to drive environmentally aware behaviors minimizing the consequent health risk imputable to urban overheating and other environmental hazards such as heat waves. In fact, a higher level of awareness and consciousness may lead to a better adaptation capability to such climate change related hazards since they tend to implement conscious and resilient behavioral attitudes to minimize their indoor thermal stress at home (0.8 versus 1.4 points awareness level about mitigation strategies). Therefore, this paper demonstrated that informative campaigns may represent an effective strategy for making building occupants more resilient to climate change toward dedicated environmental management solutions and policies taking advantage of educational vehicles.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11391/1462488
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