Developing a Geospatial Decision Support System to Address Extreme Heat and the Urban Heat Island Effect in the Greater Toronto Area (2008)

To address the growing threat of extreme heat events to the population of Toronto, Ontario, the City partnered with the Clean Air Partnership, the GTA Clean Air Council and Natural Resources Canada with the end goal of developing a GIS-based decision support tool for decisionmakers. CAP conducted a user needs study to assess current GIS capacity of end users; identify the need for GIS based decision support with regard to heat-related decisionmaking; identify the technology, policies, data and services that would be required to address extreme heat within the City; and assess the Canadian Geospatial Data Inventory (CGDI) to understand its potential use for the tool.

The case study explores the process and results of the User Needs Assessments and makes recommendations for next steps that the City can pursue to establish the GIS-based decision support tool and integrate it into health and planning decisionmaking processes.