As London experiences hotter and drier summers these are further impacted by the Urban Heat Island effect (UHI). The UHI can cause London to be up to 10’C warmer than neighbouring rural areas, particularly in Central London. This is a result of the sun’s rays being absorbed by hard surfaces rather than by the vegetation such as trees, plants and grass.
So it will be interesting to see to what extent present heatwave will acceded the one we had in the summer of 1976 is explained by not only climate change but also whether vegetation like trees, plants and grass coverage in the City has changed sufficiently via planning to help us shelter from the impact of the heat wave. If not, then we have to reappraise the planning system and whether it has acted to limit the impact of the Urban Heat Island in the past few decades with all the new developments it has approved.