Recent Harm, Problematic Impacts, and Socially Feasible Adaptation Options to Heatwaves and Heavy Rain Events in New York City

Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


The City of New York is highly diverse in socio-economic but also in natural characteristics (proximity to sea, natural areas, building and population density), potentially leading to different impacts, impact perceptions and affectedness of residents by climate change and extreme weather events. Impacts of weather events do not only comprise human fatalities or substantial economic loss, but also less dramatic, daily, small-scale interruptions of daily routines. These may be burdensome for residents and critical, potentially leading to larger impacts in form of knock-on effects. A number of studies and assessments conducted for/on New York City investigate the potential impacts of and adaptation options to climate change, but none of them—to my knowledge—is based on or includes stakeholder knowledge, i.e. the impacts as stated by New York City residents. Furthermore, assessing the impacts of extreme weather events on residents does not necessarily mean that people are strongly affected or feel burdened. However, knowing the impacts and related burden of extreme weather on the city’s residents is necessary to effectively plan for adaptation. This study investigates the impact and burden of two form of extreme weather events, heavy rainstorms and heat waves, on New York City residents. The study is based on a questionnaire survey among 762 respondents from the 5 boroughs. To a large extent the study therefore relies on the memory of previous events, which is also related to disaster response and management. The study elicits recent harm and damage, strongest impacts and problems, as well as perceived responsibilities for adaptation across sectors and boroughs.


Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM) Climate change impacts Heat waves Heavy rain New York City Adaptation Affectedness Perception Qualtrics online sample 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Geo-Information Management, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC)University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, Earth Institute, Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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