Press Releases

April 26, 2016

AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee Publishes Report on Extreme Heat Adaptation and Mitigation

New York, NY, April 26, 2016 – The Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee (DfRR) of AIA New York has published a report on how cities can adapt to extreme heat events, to be released at a public program on Tuesday, April 26, 2016. The report, which will also be available online at, recaps last November’s “Extreme Heat: Hot Cities – Adapting to a Hotter World” symposium, organized by DfRR at the Center for Architecture in New York City.

Extreme Heat Report
According to the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, this summer is going to be hotter than normal in the Northeast. What is considered normal, however, is being redefined after a string of record-breaking years.

DfRR’s “Extreme Heat: Hot Cities – Adapting to a Hotter World” symposium gathered architects, planners, engineers, and allied professionals in government, NGOs, research, and journalism to discuss how to address this growing risk through planning and design. The central question of the symposium was: “What can design professionals do to relieve the problems extreme heat creates?”

Sponsored by Autodesk, the Extreme Heat report summarizes keynotes and presentations by 30 experts on the dangerous effects of extreme heat. The report also offers a multidisciplinary approach to extreme heat, focusing on science, policy, and design to discuss urban heat at different scales, from its impacts on the human body to its implications for buildings, infrastructure, and regional planning. The report calls for action, attention to adaptive mitigation, and the need for urban heat management. For Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, and Illya Azaroff, AIA, DfRR’s Founding Co-chairs, “This report is a primer on issues related to extreme heat.”

“The dialogue from this symposium brought a new focus to heat risk planning in cities, and provided a stage for us to come together around concrete actions,” reads the preface by NYC Chief Resiliency Officer Daniel A. Zarrilli, who is also Senior Director for Climate Policy and Programs in the NYC Office of the Mayor.

“How can we create awareness and galvanize action in the face of this unavoidable change?” asked Joan Capelin, Hon. AIA, DfRR’s co-chair, in the report’s closing essay.

Publication Launch Event
The Extreme Heat report will be presented at the Center for Architecture on Tuesday, April 26, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM. The launch will coincide with a program focusing on heat wave preparation and management. Members of the press are invited to the event.

Speakers will include Sabrina McCormick, PhD, Assoc. Professor, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University; Senior Fellow, Wharton Risk and Decision Center, University of Pennsylvania; Cynthia Barton, Housing and Recovery Program Manager, Human Services Unit, NYC Emergency Management; Pippa Brashear, MLA, MUP, Director of Planning and Resilience, SCAPE / Landscape Architecture; Christopher McHugh, PE, Partner, AKF, LLP, Consulting Engineers; Jeffrey Raven, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, Assoc. Professor and Director of the Graduate Program, Urban and Regional Design, NYIT; Principal, RAVEN A + U; and Paul Savage, MBA, BSIE, Director, Healthcare Management, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Population Health Management, Iona College.

Report Details
Writer: Bill Millard
Editor: Gisela Garrett
Copy Editor: Kristen Richards
Production Manager: Evelyn Dilworth Rosen
Graphic Design: MANY
Conference Photography: Samuel Lahoz

Full video coverage of the “Extreme Heat: Hot Cities – Adapting to a Hotter World” symposium can be found on the Center for Architecture’s Vimeo page. Later this spring, will also offer an expanded version of the report complete with speaker bios, summaries of presentations, and video vignettes.

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