Daegu finally sees the effect of its efforts on combating extreme heat!
Protection of people vulnerable to extreme heat, installation of facilities that mitigate heatwaves, operation of facilities for reducing high temperatures, etc.
Every year, Daegu Metropolitan City designated May 20 to September 30 as a period of heatwave measures and pursued “comprehensive measures against heatwaves.” Aiming to minimize casualties and property damage, Daegu instituted health management and protection programs for people who are vulnerable to heatwaves, operation of heat shelters, operated fountains and other facilities for reducing temperature in the city, provided cool bottled tap water, expanded heat reduction facilities, and made city center campsites. And the city is finally seeing the results of these measures in the form of reduced number of days with heatwaves, reduced number of tropical nights, and a decline in high temperature.
Cooling Fog along the Kim Kwang-Seok Street as a Heatwave Reduction Measure
Reduction of casualties
○ From 2011 to 2015, Daegu had the highest number of days with heatwaves compared to other major cities in South Korea. Daegu also had the largest number of tropical nights until 2014, but the number of tropical nights began to exceed that of Daegu in other cities, such as Gangneung, Seoul, Gwangju, and Busan, in 2015. This shows that Daegu is becoming relatively cooler than other cities.
○ In 2018, when there were severe heatwaves, the incidence of heat-related illness in Daegu was 0.49 cases per 10,000 people, which was much lower than the nation’s average of 0.9 cases per 10,000 people.
○ This seems to be a result of Daegu’s green project, which was implemented in the early 1990s, as well as the measures instituted to curb heatwaves, including the installation of heatwave reduction facilities, in the recent five years.
Extensive expansion of heatwave reduction facilities
○ In terms of measures taken in the past five years, Daegu has significantly increased the number of places with cooling fog, cool roofs, and shades since 2017. In addition, the number of pools in the city also increased by over four times, from just four in 2014 to 18 in 2019.
Measures to Battle Heatwaves in 2019
○ With the Korean government including heatwaves in in the list of natural disasters through the revision of the Framework Act on the Management of Disasters and Safety in September 18, 2018, Daegu Metropolitan City enacted the Ordinance on the Response to Heatwaves and Urban Heat Island Effect in Daegu and created a special taskforce team to pursue comprehensive interdepartmental (institutional) measures to relieve heatwaves, as heatwaves began to occur more frequently and severely.
Parasol Campaign with Citizens
○ Prolonged exposure to extreme heat decreases brain functions by 13 percent and also increases the occurrence of UV ray-related skin diseases and heat-related illnesses.
○ Using a parasol in extreme heat can shield people from the scorching sun, reduce temperature by 7°C, lower sensible temperature b 10°C, and also prevent skin diseases or cancer by blocking UV rays. Therefore Daegu is actively promoting a campaign for encouraging citizens to use parasols.
Mid- to Long-term Plan
○ In accordance with the Ordinance on the Response to Heatwaves and Urban Heat Island Effect in Daegu, the city of Daegu is currently working on establishing a five-year plan to battle heatwaves as well as a framework plan for the establishment of a center for comprehensive safety measures against heatwaves in an effort to conduct research and evolve from a city of extreme heatwaves to a city that has overcome extreme heatwaves.
○ In addition, Daegu plans to invest KRW 18 billion by 2021 to create a forest of windy path in the city and KRW 21 billion by 2021 to increase the Clean Road systems.