The hub brings together scientists and communities to develop and deploy innovative policy solutions that reduce the impacts of extreme heat on human health and well-being.
Over the last 30 years, heat exposure has killed more people in the United States than any other weather-related phenomenon. The combined economic impacts of labor loss, hospital visits, and reduced agricultural yield—along with the health impacts of exposure—make heat among the most significant consequences of climate change for humanity.
The Nicholas Institute’s Heat Policy Innovation Hub is the first program in the United States dedicated to cross-disciplinary innovation on extreme heat policy and practice. Located in a region profoundly affected by extreme heat, Duke University is particularly well-situated to influence—and potentially transform—our nation’s approach to this critical issue. The Heat Policy Innovation Hub brings together Duke’s globally recognized expertise in medicine, health, policy, engineering, the environment, and ministry. The hub is aligned with the Duke Climate Commitment, a university-wide, impact-oriented effort to address the climate crisis.
The Heat Policy Innovation Hub integrates research with community engagement to inform policy innovation in three ways:
- Collaborative research projects contribute to the knowledge base necessary to inform and guide effective policy solutions.
- Actionable solutions pose potential fixes that require specific policy innovations and interventions.
- Purposeful partnerships advance research-supported approaches that require further community and stakeholder engagement to yield effective and actionable policy solutions.
The hub leverages these strategic approaches to develop and deploy policy solutions to reduce the impacts of heat on health outcomes.