Urban microclimate modelling methodology at pan-European level to support adaptation planning and design in cities

14:00 Tuesday 28 May


Room S10


Giulio Zuccaro (Italy) 2; Mattia Leone (Italy) 1; Stefano Nardone (Italy) 3; Alessandra Capolupo (Italy) 3

1 - Università di Napoli Federico II - Dipartimento di Architettura; 2 - Università di Napoli Federico II - Dipartimento di Strutture per l'Ingegeneria e l'Architettura, PLINIVS-LUPT Study Centre; 3 - Università di Napoli Federico II - PLINIVS-LUPT Study Centre

While climate change impacts affect cities globally, adaptation measures need to be identified and designed locally, since the specific settlement and microclimate conditions determined by the characteristics of built and natural environment play a crucial role in aggravating (or reducing) the intensity of extreme weather events, such as heat waves and flooding.

In the field of climate risk modelling, a key area of study concerns the integration of the urban microclimate analysis in the conventional GCM-RCM (Global Climate Model – Regional Climate Model) downscaling approach, to refine climate projections and capture the variations at urban/district scale of hazard indicators as the Mean Radiant Temperature (Trm) and the flooding paths and accumulation areas. It is an emerging and interdisciplinary field, where climate science, earth observation, urban studies, environmental design and building technology can contribute to identify suitable approaches to microclimate modelling.

The H2020-CLARITY project (www.clarity-h2020.eu) aims at developing Climate Services to support the integration of adaptation measures in urban infrastructure projects, providing an innovative hazard/impact modelling methodology that takes into account urban microclimate variability. The microclimate effect in European cities is quantified by exploiting the potential of the wide amount of data generated by satellite earth observations and made available at pan-European level through the Copernicus datasets (e.g. Urban Atlas, European Settlement Map, etc.), which can be processed with specific algorithms and GIS spatial analysis tools to extract detailed information related to key parameters linked to urban morphology and surface type, such as albedo, emissivity, buildings shadows, green fraction and runoff coefficient.

The proposed methodology allows to refine the information derived from climate models, with a typical maximum resolution of 10-12km (such as Euro-Cordex), at the level of a 250x250m mesh overlapped on European urban areas, thanks to the high resolution of satellite data. This information is used as input of the CLARITY Pre-feasibility assessment tool, which aims at supporting a detailed quantification of expected impacts from extreme heat and precipitation events, and a first screening of suitable adaptation measures tailored to the city-specific context.

The aim is to extend through a new generation of Climate Services the application of Copernicus data, as a harmonized, freely available and expanding data repository at EU level, also exploiting the synergies with other EU initiatives, such as the Risk Data Hub currently being developed by the JRC-DRMKC (Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre).