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This question examines the interdependent social vulnerability of COVID-19 and weather-related hazards in urban areas like NYC.



Current COVID-19 policies in cities like New York have induced a radical shift in the locations of where people need services (primarily in their homes and apartments), affecting locations of demand for services including energy, transit, green spaces and more which may shift exposure to potential weather-related extremes. Additionally, potential impacts of weather-related extreme events will add complexity to emergency response and require updated resilience planning in the current national epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Considering COVID-19 continues to impact urban areas across the U.S., there is an urgent need to collect current, emerging data on social and economic impacts and responses, and join these with existing local, regional, and national datasets to anticipate potential interdependent risks of COVID-19 and weather extremes as weather shifts over coming weeks and months. A convergent scientific approach is critical for examining how vulnerable populations may be additionally impacted beyond direct COVID-19 health impacts as 2021 winter turns to spring and summer with potential heat waves and extreme rainfall events. Social survey and social media data are especially critical to collect now as perspectives on location-specific experiences and perspective of green space as critical infrastructure can change over time. Additionally, social media data can only be accessed cost-effectively via Twitter in weekly intervals, and analyses are needed now to understand policy impacts in time to plan responses and strategies for resilience to interdependent COVID-weather extremes impacts.

The Urban Systems Lab team is working on a convergent science approach to understand these potential of interdependent COVID-19 and weather-related impacts on vulnerable populations in New York City. We are beginning to expand this analysis to other cities and invite collaboration and support to address these critical issues. 

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