Background and objectives
A large share of global climate risks are concentrated in urban areas. Cities are very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as heat waves and flash floods because of the high concentration of people, infrastructure, and economic activity.
In addition, cities tend to amplify climate extremes such as heat waves and flash floods. Cities are characterised by the abundance of impermeable surfaces, less capable of absorbing increased rainfall, which exacerbates flooding risks. Already, serious floods are happening more frequently, disrupting services and causing serious damage to people and businesses.
Cities are also prone to the urban heat island effect, being likely to experience twice as many heat wave days as their rural surroundings. Heat waves are ‘silent killers’, claiming more victims than any other weather-related disaster. In addition to health effects, extreme heat also adversely affects energy consumption, city tourism, as well as infrastructure, e.g. by damaging roads and causing railway tracks to buckle.
Even if global greenhouse gas emissions were to stop today, climate change would continue for many decades as a result of past emissions and the inertia of the climate system. Therefore, cities across Europe must step up their adaptation efforts to handle the increasingly complex challenges caused by climate change.
However, cities often lack the information to support adaptation measures. Indeed, even though nowadays a wealth of global and regional climate data is available, most of it is far too coarse for use in urban applications at city scales.
Given the high vulnerability of cities to climate extremes and considering that decisions regarding climate adaptation measures are often made at the city authority level, it is clear that cities deserve tailor-made urban climate information that accounts for their particular urban physical and socio-economic characteristics to assist decision-making.
In this context, Climate-fit.city will demonstrate the added value of integrating urban climate services within user practices and to establish and further upscale an urban climate service, which will translate the best available scientific urban climate data into relevant information for public and private end-users in cities. The service will quantify the impacts of climate (change) on a range of urban sectors and propose relevant solutions to customers.
Our ambition is to reach tens to hundreds of European cities and towns, servicing them with urban climate information through a flexible and ever evolving network of business partners operating throughout Europe (and beyond), responding to the need for cost-efficient and reliable urban climate information.
To facilitate the storage and distribution of the urban primary climate data, an urban climate data platform will be established, which will make the data available in a suitable format for use by the value-adding climate service providers.
Are you a climate service purveyor or a private/public decision-maker in a European city? Want to get involved? Get it touch with us using the contact form available on this page.