All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Rouzbeh Nazari

Advisory Committee Members

Zech C Wesley

Fahad Golam Md Rabbani

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2023

Degree Name by School

Master of Civil Engineering (MCE) School of Engineering

Abstract

Abstract: Urban Heat Islands (UHIs) represent a severe hazard to people's health and quality of life, particularly in areas of cities with dense and at-risk populations. This integrative research aims to reduce the burden of UHIs caused by climate change and mitigate associated health risks and inequalities in Birmingham, Alabama. The study identifies areas most impacted by UHI effects and loss of vegetation and provides remediation strategies to combat these issues. In addition, the research expands to identify socioeconomically disadvantaged and health-vulnerable communities needing intervention to improve their quality of life. Urban Heat Islands (UHIs) trap heat, alter local climates and raise health hazards during heat waves in urban areas. A multidisciplinary team from the University of Alabama at Birmingham collaborates with the city of Birmingham to implement advanced technical analytics and policies to address the areas that most need environmental remediation to counter extreme heat events and associated damages. This project utilizes a technical approach to develop a framework to identify the impact of UHIs on human health and communities in Birmingham, considering both physical and social indicators. The city of Birmingham also faces significant healthcare challenges due to pollution exposure, exacerbating underlying health conditions, and increasing hospitalizations without health insurance coverage. The study identifies that areas predominantly populated by African Americans are more vulnerable to adverse health effects caused by acute and long-term air pollution exposure due to their proximity to industrial facilities. The proposed study provides a unique opportunity for the city of Birmingham to address UHI-related health inequalities and improve the overall well-being of its residents.

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Engineering Commons

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