Climate-wise urban planning can build up cities’ resilience to new weather conditions, and even transform them into powerful instruments for sustainable development.
Cities were once perceived as refuges from disasters and as buffers against environmental change. Today, the high concentration of people and impervious artificial surfaces, coupled with increasingly extreme weather conditions, is fast turning cities into risk hotspots.
More than half of the world’s population and the major share of its economic activity are located in urban areas. This makes cities both contributors to climate change, and particularly vulnerable to its impacts. During periods of heat, for example, many cities quickly become urban heat islands, while heavy rains can overwhelm the manmade drainage systems, resulting in urban floods.
Tools for change
Both the Urban Agenda for the EU and the United Nations New Urban Agenda are now calling for cities become solutions to the problems of climate change, and not its cause. Climate-wise urban planning has the ability to reduce a city’s emissions, control local climatic and biophysical conditions, and build resilience to extreme weather events, but this kind of planning requires extensive data and precise modelling.
While many environmental urban planning tools already exist, most are still too inflexible and difficult for planners to use. According to recent studies, for urban planning to be effective, climate services must develop a more collaborative approach to working with planners.
Reliability, usability, flexibility
Through a multidisciplinary and highly interactive process, the Climate-fit.City Urban Planning Service offers its clients actionable information, tailored to their needs.
Our service was developed by combining the unique urban climate model, UrbClim, developed by our partner, VITO, and an interactive web-based map tool from the geoinformation company GISAT.
The result, is an interactive urban planning scenario modelling tool allowing users to model their own scenarios and assess their impacts. In this way, planners can make informed decisions about climate conditions in their cities. No special resources are required to use our services – only internet and as much data as the city can provide. In cases where there isn’t enough data available, we do our best to develop additional mapping services through readings of satellite imagery.
The tool is flexible enough to be useful for small city administrations and international organisations alike, and is already being used by three very different European cities – Prague, Ostrava and Hodonin.
Climate-fit.City: we adapt to your needs, so that you can adapt to the changing world.
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