Heatwave vulnerability across different spatial scales: Insights from the Dutch built environment

Istiaque Ahmed*, M.M.E. van Esch, F.D. van der Hoeven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
87 Downloads (Pure)


Heatwaves in urbanized areas, even in temperate regions like the Netherlands, are getting serious attention. The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute predicts more frequent and intense heat events in the future. Studies have explored how Dutch cities contribute to heatwaves and suggested design and planning responses to mitigate their effects. However, a review of heatwave research in the Netherlands specifically focusing on the built environment has hardly been reported in the literature. This study aims to provide such a review utilizing the vulnerability framework. Following the PRISMA protocol, 57 articles are analysed based on the components of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity within the vulnerability framework. Subsequently, findings have been classified into five built environment scales - block, neighbourhood, district, city, and region - to critically reflect upon the extent to which the studies address various vulnerability components and the specific scales they primarily focus on. Results demonstrate that most of the studies concentrate on the hazard itself and its spatial distribution from a macro perspective on a city and regional scale. The review underlines the necessity of micro-level research on the phenomena, incorporating people's everyday experiences and resilience during heat events to find context-specific adaptation and mitigation strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101614
JournalUrban Climate
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Heatwave Hazard
  • Vulnerability
  • Built environment
  • the Netherlands


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