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Current climate extremes and projections for future changes to climate have resulted in growing attention to the health effects of climate on all human populations, urban and rural (McMichael et al., 2003; Confalonieri et al., 2007; Costello et al., 2009). Indeed, almost all the impacts of climate change have direct or indirect consequences for human health. However, for a number of reasons, city dwellers – especially those in low- and middle-income nations – are especially vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change.
In this chapter we present issues and case studies relevant to human health in cities under climate change conditions. In Section 7.2, we discuss the most relevant conclusions from the health chapter of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (Confalonieri et al., 2007), looking at its application to cities. In Section 7.3, we present an overview of urban health outcomes and their climate-related drivers. In Section 7.4 the factors that can modify the impacts of climate change on human health in urban areas are discussed. Section 7.5 presents examples and case studies of adaptations that protect city residents from some of the health impacts and risks posed by climate change. A brief discussion of needed changes in energy, transportation, and other sectors to reduce emissions of harmful pollutants and provide co-benefits for human health is found in Section 7.6. The urgent need for better, more urban focused and targeted research is discussed in Section 7.7. Conclusions are presented in Section 7.8.
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