Climate adaptation in informal areas in hot arid climates

Aynaz Lotfata, João Cortesão*, Hestia Zinsmeister, Gert Jan Steeneveld, Josephine van Zeben, Zac Taylor, Wendy Tan, Samah Elkhateeb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


This conceptual and exploratory research study investigates, systematically and holistically, climate-adaptive spatial design interventions for high-density informal urban areas in hot arid climates, which remain understudied despite their vulnerability to heat stress and the heat-vulnerable groups populating them. Five streetscape design prototypes are proposed that include climate-adaptive spatial interventions appraised qualitatively with consideration to relevant feasibility matters: land use planning, equity, affordability, mobility, and sense of place. The study shows that there is potential for climate-adaptive interventions in informal urban areas in hot arid climates, but that these interventions also present challenges. Common climate-adaptive design strategies can be used to address heat stress in these areas but, for example, increasing vegetation might be challenging due to water stress. As a conceptual study, the findings presented and the discussion raised on feasibility are targeted at opening avenues for future research, and at informing decision-makers and spatial designers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-794
Number of pages18
JournalSustainable Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • climate adaptation
  • climate-adaptive design
  • heat stress
  • heat-vulnerable groups
  • hot arid climates
  • informal urban areas


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