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Identifying Urban Heat Vulnerability by integrating Foot-Traffic information with Remote Sensed temperature

Authors: Yanzhe Yin*, University of Georgia, Andrew Grundstein, University of Georgia, Deepak Mishra, University of Georgia, Lakshmish Ramaswamy, University of Georgia, Navid Hashemi, Emory University, Omid Setayeshfar, University of Georgia
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Remote Sensing, Medical and Health Geography
Keywords: Ambient Air Temperature, Random Forest modeling, LBS, Heat Vulnerability, Spatial-temporal Analysis
Session Type: Guided Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Lack of high-resolution human mobility information increases the risk of heat exposure for human beings, particularly for at-risk communities. Most of the existing Heat Vulnerability studies use demographic information from the census to represent the location of the population. Such an assumption has inherent limitations on two fronts: (1) the ability to represent the actual human mobility of individuals is insufficient, and (2) the spatiotemporal granularities of heat vulnerability are too coarse.
Overcoming these limitations requires radically different research approaches, both obtaining high-resolution human mobility information and developing indexes to quantifying heat vulnerability. This research investigates the Foot-Traffic data from SafeGraph for studying and assessing UHI-associated heat vulnerability. SafeGraph Foot-Traffic is an aggregation of visits to different places. We have also developed a comprehensive vulnerability index to quantify the influences of demographics. Our research also incorporates different satellite thermal images from the new Landsat 8 and ECOSTRESS satellites to examine the heat variability within known UHIs.
Preliminary findings indicate the high heat exposure area generated from the satellite data incline to the areas with high heat sensitivity and low adaptability. For example, several communities have high population density, human foot traffic, and high land surface temperature. The findings from this study will be beneficial for understanding the heat vulnerabilities of individual communities, such as outdoor workers. It may also lead a pathway for local government to devise targeted and effective heat hazard mitigation efforts such as increasing greenspace at specific locations and developing better heat-safety policies.

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