01.10.2010 - 30.09.2014

URBAN - Potential impact of climate trends and weather extremes on outdoor thermal comfort in European cities - implications for sustainable urban design



Regional climate models predict that the mean air temperature in Europe will rise 2 to 6°C by 2100. This means that winters will be milder and summers hotter, with an intensification of extreme heat waves in summer. The WHO acknowledges that the future increase in temperature will have profound effects on the health and well-being of citizens in Europe. In order to mitigate the problems with intensified heat stress and to take policy actions of adaptation and mitigation of climate change in relation urban sustainability quantitative information on factors determining outdoor thermal comfort is required. This research proposal is based on the results from the pre-research project “The potential impact of climate change on heat stress in different built structures and cities across Europe, which was granted within the first Urban-Net call and addresses the gaps of knowledge, research needs and common research interests that were identified at an European workshop organized with the project. The main objective of this interdisciplinary and transnational research project is to study the effects of anthropogenic climate change on outdoor thermal comfort in urban areas as well as develop a set of design guidelines and policies on how maintain health and thermal comfort under changed climate conditions and extreme weather events in European cities. The cities of Göteborg in Sweden, Kassel in Germany and Porto in Portugal, representing a northern, mid and southern European city, with different prerequisites will be selected for case studies. Methods will include statistical downscaling of data from GCMs, spatial modelling of thermal comfort in different urban settings, thermal comfort analyses, national and international workshops with key stakeholders and project meetings. The research consortium includes scientists from urban and regional climatology, geography, biometeorology, health, environmental engineering, landscape architecture and urban and regional as well as key stakeholders of Sweden, Germany and Portugal.


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