'Take Siestas' To Cope With Rising City Temperatures, Suggests Expert

Workers may need to adopt Mediterranean-style working habits, such as the 'siesta', suggests the author of the Shaping Cities For Health report published in the Lancet today.

Professor Yvonne Rydin, who led the research, told The Telegraph that in order to cope with growing urban populations and rising temperatures, taking time out in the afternoon could be one solution.

She suggests that more flexible working arrangements are needed to combat the ‘urban heat island effect’, which can push temperatures up in a city by 10C.

These include encouraging people to come in early when it is cooler and having a few hours off during the heat of the day.

"Climate change will mean that London will have temperatures more like Hong Kong in the future," she told The Telegraph.

The UCL report also highlighted the importance of ‘interventions’ to protect city dwellers from the dangers of high temperatures.

Almost half the heat-related deaths in London, during a hot period in 2006, could be attributed to the effect of the ‘urban heat island’, states the paper.

The 2003 August heatwave saw an 2,000 extra deaths in the UK - and 22,000 in Europe, reports The Telegraph.

Ideas include increasing greenery and water features around the city, plus painting rooftops white to reflect light and improving natural air flow.

Professor Rydin pointed out that simply air conditioning buildings is a waste of energy and pumps even more hot air into the city.

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