Urban Climatology

Organizers :

  • Nektarios Chrysoulakis, FORTH / IACM, Greece
  • Benjamin Bechtel, Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability, Universität Hamburg, Germany
  • Frieke Van Coillie, Laboratory of Forest Management and Spatial Information Techniques, Ghent University, Belgium

Abstract :
This session will focus on strategies for urban climate understanding including Surface Urban Heat Island  (SUHI) analysis and mapping/modelling of urban energy fluxes.

Today a wide range of urban energy balance and urban canopy schemes of different complexity is available. However, these models are dependent on a large number of surface parameters as boundary conditions which are often not available. Earth Observation can be an answer. The World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools project (WUDAPT) aims to address this need for tailored information on urban areas in difference levels of details. The basic description (Level 0) is a discretization into urban structures with homogenous thermal response called Local Climate Zones (LCZ). LCZs can be mapped from Earth Observation data, which recently got high attention from the Image Analysis and Remote Sensing communities [4]. The higher data levels (Levels 1 and 2) aim at direct retrieval of relevant urban canopy parameters such as building height and volume, cover fractions, SVF, etc.

The special session will discuss recent advances and remaining limitations in the exploitation of Earth Observation data and methods for urban climate characterisation. It will also tackle issues related to a) urban energy budget and heat fluxes at local scale and how their partitioning generates the urban heat island and affects thermal comfort and energy efficiency; b) exploitation of EO in urban CO2 flux mapping, towards CO2 emissions monitoring in cities; and c) EO potential to support the evaluation of urban environmental indicators capable of supporting urban planning at neighbourhood level.