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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2015, 4(1), 199-219; doi:10.3390/ijgi4010199

Mapping Local Climate Zones for a Worldwide Database of the Form and Function of Cities

1
Institute of Geography, University of Hamburg, Bundesstraße 55, Hamburg 20146, Germany
2
Irish Climate Analysis & Research Units, Department of Geography, Room 1.8 Laraghbryan House, Maynooth University, Kildare, Ireland
3
Institute for the Environment, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, UNC-Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA
4
Department of Geography, University of Kansas, 1475 Jayhawk Blvd, Lawrence, KS 66049, USA
5
School Of Geog, Planning & Env Policy, Newman Building, UCD, Belfield Dublin 4, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
6
Ecosystems Services and Management Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Schlossplatz 1, Laxenburg 2361, Austria
7
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto, 35 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2J7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wolfgang Kainz
Received: 4 December 2014 / Revised: 7 January 2015 / Accepted: 16 January 2015 / Published: 2 February 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [6230 KB, uploaded 2 February 2015]   |  

Abstract

Progress in urban climate science is severely restricted by the lack of useful information that describes aspects of the form and function of cities at a detailed spatial resolution. To overcome this shortcoming we are initiating an international effort to develop the World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools (WUDAPT) to gather and disseminate this information in a consistent manner for urban areas worldwide. The first step in developing WUDAPT is a description of cities based on the Local Climate Zone (LCZ) scheme, which classifies natural and urban landscapes into categories based on climate-relevant surface properties. This methodology provides a culturally-neutral framework for collecting information about the internal physical structure of cities. Moreover, studies have shown that remote sensing data can be used for supervised LCZ mapping. Mapping of LCZs is complicated because similar LCZs in different regions have dissimilar spectral properties due to differences in vegetation, building materials and other variations in cultural and physical environmental factors. The WUDAPT protocol developed here provides an easy to understand workflow; uses freely available data and software; and can be applied by someone without specialist knowledge in spatial analysis or urban climate science. The paper also provides an example use of the WUDAPT project results. View Full-Text
Keywords: land cover; supervised classification; pixel-based classification; multi-temporal remote sensing; urban climate science; local climate zones; WUDAPT land cover; supervised classification; pixel-based classification; multi-temporal remote sensing; urban climate science; local climate zones; WUDAPT
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bechtel, B.; Alexander, P.J.; Böhner, J.; Ching, J.; Conrad, O.; Feddema, J.; Mills, G.; See, L.; Stewart, I. Mapping Local Climate Zones for a Worldwide Database of the Form and Function of Cities. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2015, 4, 199-219.

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