Repository logo

Climate change hazards, physical infrastructure systems and health pathways

Published version

Repository DOI

Change log


MacAskill, Kristen 


Climate-related hazards such as heatwaves, flooding, wildfires, and storms will increase morbidity and mortality unless infrastructure decision-makers—including urban planners, infrastructure asset managers, and utility providers—implement preventive measures to protect public health from these hazards. Existing research and policies have not systematically identified the key risk factors that these decision-makers need to manage to protect public health in a changing climate. This gap leads to unclarity regarding what infrastructure interventions are required to prevent climate-related health risks and what actors have a responsibility to manage these risks. The Climate-Health-Infrastructure- Pathways Model is introduced in this paper to address this gap and provide a conceptual map that captures the role of physical infrastructure systems in the pathways between climate-related hazards and health risks. The model surpasses what can be found in existing climate change research and policy, including the latest IPCC reporting, and is a conceptual qualitative tool that offers a typology of climate and health risks for infrastructure management. Decision-makers can use the model as a starting point to review the coverage of their current climate risk management plans and identify further opportunities to develop preventive infrastructure responses to protect public health in a changing climate.



4101 Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation, 41 Environmental Sciences, 42 Health Sciences, Prevention, 13 Climate Action

Journal Title

Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


IOP Publishing
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/S02302X/1)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (2277496)