The increasing level of antropopression has a negative impact on environmental resources and has reached the level of our planetary boundaries. One limitation is land use change caused by urbanization. Global policies prove the need to undertake action in order to develop more sustainable human settlements, which would be adapted better to potential future climate change effects. Among such changes are the increase of average temperatures and extreme events like heat waves. Those changes are more severe in urban areas due to land use development, and result in the urban heat island effect (UHI), which has a negative impact on the thermal comfort of citizens. The paper presents a decision support system that can be used for the assessment of areas to the potential exposure to the UHI effect. The system integrates scenario analysis, land use modelling in cellular automata (Metronamica), and an indicator-based assessment in a geographic information system (ArcGIS). The applicability of the model is illustrated through developing scenarios for the future land use allocation of the Wrocław Larger Urban Zone (Poland). The results of the calculations show which scenario is the least vulnerable to UHI effects. Moreover, for each scenario, cores of urban areas were identified, in which certain urban design patterns accounting for adaptation to climate change could be implemented. The study provides a guideline for local authorities on where to focus actions in order to create more sustainable urban structures and to better adapt to climate change and environmental extremes.
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