PSI’s Kevin Burchell emphasises the social aspects of resilience

On Thursday 27 April, Dr Kevin Burchell, Senior Research Fellow at PSI, contributed to a panel discussion at an event called Built to Last: city resilience and climate change. The event – organised by Policy Connect on behalf of the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum and the All-Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group – took place in the Palace of Westminster.

Kevin Burchell

In his five-minute contribution, Dr Burchell drew upon work in the Urban Heat project, funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Dr Burchell highlighted two key issues. First, the extent to which – as well as infrastructure – resilience also depends upon consistent and adequate investment in national, regional and local public institutions, as well as in the third or voluntary sector. Second, Dr Burchell emphasised the importance of raising the profile of the hotter weather and more frequent heatwaves that are predicted in the context of climate change. Despite causing 2,000 excess deaths each year, and 2,000 in the three-day 2003 heatwave alone, Dr Burchell characterised heatwaves as a ‘cinderella’ issue that is not mentioned in planning guidance or building regulations.

There is further information about the Urban Heat project here.

You can read a summary report on the event by Policy Connect here.