A Heatwave Study and Benchmarking Analysis – City of Lyon, France

As part of a team of five OD consultants, John participated in a Pepperdine University sponsored Flash Consulting project. The client was the Lyon City Manager to Fight Global Warming, who runs the Mission Développement Durable de la Ville de Lyon, a small agency within city hall that supports sustainability efforts throughout the city of Lyon.

Since 2015, France had recorded between 500 and 3,500 excess deaths from extreme heat each summer. The changing climate had brought with it more frequent, longer lasting and more intense heat waves to Europe. With citizen safety and health at the forefront, the client was interested in learning best practices for cities that deal with extreme heat–without air conditioning.

The client requested benchmarked findings of best practices from US cities with similar challenges; an onsite assessment of how current city services are perceived by various constituencies; and actionable recommendations for the City of Lyon.

Research tasks included collecting data on North American best practices for addressing heat waves and reviewing client provided presentations and articles on actions already undertaken in Lyon. While in Lyon, the team met with the client City Manager and conducted a series of interviews with staff and residents from an elderly home, staff from two public nurseries, and members of the public whom they approached at random in city parks and shopping malls. John was responsible for reviewing the French language information provided by the client and assisted with the onsite interviews.

The final deliverable, an Actionable Recommendations Pack, consisted of a synthesis of the onsite interviews about heat waves and services provided by the City of Lyon, best practices from North American cities, and recommendations focused on city services, 21st century infrastructure adaptations, and public and private partnerships. The client was very pleased with the research and recommendations.