Undergraduate Honors Thesis


A Case Study on U.S. City Action Towards Protecting Homeless Lives from Heat Vulnerability Public Deposited

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  • Vulnerability to times of extreme heat and heatwaves vary by social and socioeconomic groups. The particular group studied in this research is homeless populations. I examined sources outlining vulnerabilities to heat compared to sources covering homeless vulnerabilities. The vulnerabilities homeless people experience to extreme heat and heat waves is defined in this paper. The scope is divided between homeless populations exposure rate and adaptive capacity. The vulnerabilities of homeless populations defined represent higher exposure rate to extreme heat and lower adaptive capacity to extreme heat by homeless communities compared to housed communities. 

    A case study on two U.S. cities was conducted through policy research on heat mitigation strategies. These cities are Phoenix (AZ) and Philadelphia (PA). I compared the cities’ actions to the vulnerabilities experienced by homeless communities. This comparison highlights where cities are successful or fall short in protecting the lives of homeless populations. The city of Phoenix’s new Office of Heat Response and Mitigation has set plans that will reduce homeless vulnerabilities. The city of Philadelphia has more resources for cold weather events, rather than hot weather events, but their Code Red initiative has potential to be successful if it is implemented similarly to Philadelphia’s Code Blue. 

Date Awarded
  • 2022-04-05
Academic Affiliation
Granting Institution
Last Modified
  • 2022-04-12
Resource Type
Rights Statement
  • Olesiewicz, Erin (April, 2022) A Case Study on U.S. City Action Towards Protecting Homeless Lives from Heat Vulnerability University of Colorado Boulder, Environmental Studies.


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