The COVID crisis has exposed our interdependencies and the insufficient preparation of our urban systems for coping with shocks. It also has highlighted the stress we put on the environment and in many places greatly increased inequality — including the response to heat.

Now, with climate change, come scorching hot temperatures during the summer months which bring additional challenges to healthcare systems that already operate under great pressure due to the pandemic. On Aug. 16, California recorded what could be the hottest temperature ever on earth: 54.4 degrees Celsius, in the shade.

COVID-19 wasn’t a bolt from the blue. Experts have long warned about the potential outbreak of a major pandemic, yet governments around the world were woefully unprepared for its catastrophic consequences. Let’s not make the same mistake with global warming.

There is an urgent, global need for building urban resilience to heat and, as usual, business has a key role to play.

Over the past months, it has become clear that resilience strategies for COVID-19 in cities could help us approach other threats as well.

We have seen that in times of pandemics, we need almost the same things as we do during heat waves. We need spacious green and blue areas close to our homes where we can walk, exercise and rest — places where we can enhance our well-being while maintaining the necessary physical distance. We also need comfortable dwellings that are neither too hot nor too cold, as well as gardens and parks that are accessible to the whole community.

More stakeholders must engage, and we need to improve institutional and governance aspects of how cities, business and other stakeholders can work together to realize the vision of a sustainable built environment.

Read the full article about generating urban resilience by Rolan Hunziker and Mattias Goldmann at GreenBiz.