Mapping Heat Wave Hazard in Urban Areas: A Novel Multi‐Criteria Decision Making Approach

Javad Shafiei Shiva, David G. Chandler, Kenneth E. Kunkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Global population is experiencing more frequent, longer, and more severe heat waves due to global warming and urbanization. Episodic heat waves increase mortality and morbidity rates and demands for water and energy. Urban managers typically assess heat wave risk based on heat wave hazard, population exposure, and vulnerability, with a general assumption of spatial uniformity of heat wave hazard. We present a novel analysis that demonstrates an approach to determine the spatial distribution of a set of heat wave properties and hazard. The analysis is based on the Livneh dataset at a 1/16‐degree resolution from 1950 to 2009 in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA. We then focused on neighborhoods with the most frequent, severe, earlier, and extended periods of heat wave occurrences. On average, the first heat wave occurs 40 days earlier in the eastern part of the county; the northeast part of this region experiences 12 days further extreme hot days and 30 days longer heat wave season than other regions of the area. Then, we applied a multi‐criteria decision‐making (MCDM) tool (TOPSIS) to evaluate the total hazard posed by heat wave components. We found that the northern and central parts of the metropolitan area are subject to the greatest heat wave hazard and that individual heat wave hazard components did not necessarily indicate heat hazard. This approach is intended to support local government planning for heat wave adaptation and mitigation strategies, where cooling centers, heat emergency water distribution networks, and electrical energy delivery can be targeted based on current and projected local heat wave characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1037
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • MCDM
  • adaptation
  • hazard classification
  • hazard mapping
  • heat wave
  • mitigation
  • natural hazard

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Mapping Heat Wave Hazard in Urban Areas: A Novel Multi‐Criteria Decision Making Approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this