What is the impact of heatwaves on vulnerable populations in The Hague?

New research findings suggest simple measures not being implemented

Vulnerable populations in The Hague such as the elderly use relatively simple solutions such as a wet towel or sponge less often than expected. Most of those questioned were concerned about what measures they could take to cool themselves and were concerned about the costs involved

These are just some of the findings of a joint research project led by Dr Sylvia Bergh, Associate Professor at the International Institute of Social Studies.

The research team surveyed residents in three areas of The Hague, organized focus group discussions and interviewed professionals from the private sector, care workers and policy makers. They also found that many vulnerable people often did not implement solutions such as awnings, air conditioning and green roofs because of institutional barriers and high costs.

In their final report, the researchers make some recommendations to the municipality of The Hague, the most important being the appointment of a 'heat director' who can work across policy areas  involved to create a heat-resistant city.

Research InSightS LIVE - climate change

Lead researcher, Dr Sylvia Bergh was a guest at the first Research InSightS LIVE organized by the International Institute of Social Studies. She discussed her research about the effects of heatwaves on vulnerable populations in The Hague. She argued that by identifying affordable and simple 'frugal' innovations in the Hague and globally, developed by and for local citizens, the project aims to formulate practical policy recommendations.

Research Insights LIVE 1 - Sylvia Bergh - effects of heatwaves

Collaboration and funding

The research was a joint project between The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS), the International Institute of Social Studies and the Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa with the Centre of Expertise on Global Governance at THUAS as the lead applicant. 

It received funding from the municipality of The Hague.

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