Heritage sites, climate change, and urban science

Michael E. Smith, Scott G. Ortman, Jose Lobo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We describe a new research perspective on the relationship between climate change and heritage sites around the world. Existing efforts focus mainly on either the climate-related damages to cultural heritage resources, or the role of local and indigenous communities in using and preserving heritage sites. We argue that heritage sites also provide an empirical record of past successes and failures in the ways that cities and settlements have responded to environmental shocks and stresses. The scientific analysis of the relevant archaeological remains can generate hypotheses on the range of factors that facilitated or hindered resilience and influenced successful and unsuccessful urban adaptations. This knowledge, in turn, may help illuminate the drivers of urban adaptations to climate change today. The consideration of heritage sites as sources of insights for urban science and urban climate science adds a new dimension to the nexus between climate change research and heritage sites; it does not substitute for existing approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101371
JournalUrban Climate
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Archaeology
  • Heritage sites
  • Urban adaptation
  • Urban sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Heritage sites, climate change, and urban science'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this