Windsor, Ontario is adapting to extreme heat by improving its parks

Canada’s southernmost city, Windsor, Ontario, is already one of the hottest cities in the country and it is getting hotter. Windsor can expect nearly three times as many very hot days (maximum temperature over 30°C) by 2100. The city is adapting to Canada’s changing climate by improving its parks: planting trees to shade play equipment, erecting shade structures and adding splash pads, misting stations and drinking fountains.

Understanding the issue

Analysis of existing information on climate change impacts and regional projections for precipitation and temperature changes for the year 2080 as well as a literature search were used to identify physical and ecological impacts of climate change and associated socioeconomic impacts on the com- munity. A public survey, individual meetings with community members, open house discussions, and input from municipal staff were used to engage and consult local residents about the climate change impacts they have observed over the last 30 years. 1 A risk assessment was conducted to identify and classify climate-related risks to the community. The risk evaluation framework used by the planning team includes examination of vulnerability as a necessary precursor to evaluation of risk. Elkford used the probability of occurrence of each impact over the 20-year period covered by the OCP. After a risk level was established, the community as a whole had to determine what level of risk it was willing to accept (risk tolerance).

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Parks and heat: Thermal Imaging

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Thermal imaging of Windsor’s Captain John Wilson Park shows the temperature of the dark rubber mat under the play structure (yellow area) is 71.6°C.Thermal imaging of Windsor’s Captain John Wilson Park shows the temperature of the dark rubber mat under the play structure (yellow area) is 71.6°C.

Planning

A risk assessment was conducted to identify and classify climate-related risks to the community. The risk evaluation framework used by the planning team includes examination of vulnerability as a necessary precursor to evaluation of risk. Elkford used the probability of occurrence of each impact over the 20-year period covered by the OCP. After a risk level was established, the community as a whole had to determine what level of risk it was willing to accept (risk tolerance).

Implementation

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