San Francisco Climate and Health Profile

The San Francisco Department of Public Health’s (SFDPH) Climate and Health Program works to address the public health consequences of climate change at the local level and improve climate change preparedness and resilience in San Francisco, California. The SFDPH's Climate and Health Profile is an assessment and educational resource that links climate change impacts with their associated health outcomes, and identifies populations and locations most vulnerable to these health outcomes. 

Using the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) national framework, Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE), the SFDPH’s Climate and Health Program is assessing climate trends, defining disease burden, developing specific intervention methods, and evaluating the effects of change for at-risk populations within the region. For the SFDPH, the BRACE framework began with the Climate and Health Profile by identifying the scope of climate impacts and associated potential health outcomes for San Francisco.

The report describes the geography and demography of San Francisco, and provides a baseline climate assessment which reviews projected changes in temperature, precipitation, sea level rise and air quality for the region. Chapter 4 summarizes the health impacts from these climate projections. The climate health impacts of which San Francisco is most vulnerable to include: extreme heat, cold snaps, sea level rise, extreme storms, drought, income loss (due to job loss from SLR for example), food insecurity, rodent and vector-borne disease, and mental health issues. 

Vulnerable population and community resiliency indicators are detailed in Chapter 5. To identify the extent to which neighborhoods are impacted by stressors associated with climate change related hazard events, the SFDPH initiated a process to determine the specific indicators that most aptly approximate a neighborhood’s vulnerability and resiliency. Community resiliency indicators have been split into the following categories: Hazard Indicators, Environmental Indicators, Transportation Indicators, Community Indicators, Public Realm Indicators, Housing Indicators, Economy Indicators, Health Indicators, and Health Indicators. The indicators, comparative maps, and analysis are provided in the report.

After analysis of environmental, demographic and socioeconomic infrastructure and the pre-existing indicators, the profile concludes that there are certain neighborhoods in San Francisco that will be disproportionately affected by climate change: Chinatown and Downtown, Bayview Hunters Point, Soma, Excelsior, Crocker Amazon, Visitacion Valley and Treasure Island.

Using information from this profile, SFDPH intends to continue to work with vulnerable neighborhood groups to address the projected health impacts of climate change and support the community in its self-identified mitigation, preparedness, response, restoration and recovery goals. This will be accomplished by:

- continuing to develop assessments, emergency plans and educational and outreach material for adaptation and resilience efforts,
- strengthening collaboration across government agencies,
- supporting vulnerable communities in building capacity and leadership, and
- seeking innovative solutions from diverse partnerships as the impacts of climate change escalate and unfold.



Publication Date: November 2014

Related Organizations:

  • San Francisco Department of Public Health
  • City and County of San Francisco, California

Related Resources:


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Assessment

States Affected:


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