2018•05•28 Bonn General Anzeiger
While many people enjoy the rising temperatures in the spring and summer, especially people in densely urbanized areas often reach a point when the heat becomes too much and heat stress develops. The consequences can range from sleeplessness or fatigue to dehydration, heat stroke, cardiovascular problems or even death.
But environmental trends (climate change) as well as population trends, such as urbanization and an aging society, mean that these problems are likely going to occur even more frequently and have an even stronger impact in the future. Even people who currently enjoy the heat could suffer from heat stress at a later point in life, simply because they will be more vulnerable due to advanced age, but also possibly because their neighborhood and lifestyle might change. On the other hand, it is possible for citizens to adapt to heat waves to a certain extent, be it by avoiding certain activities, installing blinds, or going to parks, for instance.
The goal of the ZURES project is to look at heat stress not only by predicting how heat in cities may increase and which areas will be affected the most, but by matching this information with insights about the population that lives there. To this end the researchers are currently interviewing citizens in Bonn/Germany about their perceptions of summer heat and the measures they take to deal with it. Teams of student assistants are currently roaming the streets of Bonn conducting household surveys. This has piqued the interest of the citizens of Bonn and local media alike, and several local media outlets have featured the ZURES project, namely WDR’s Lokalzeit Bonn, Bonner Rundschau and General-Anzeiger Bonn. While these reports are in German, General-Anzeiger Bonn also published the article in English here.