Special Issue "Urban Climate and Adaptation Tools"

A special issue of Climate (ISSN 2225-1154).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Teodoro Georgiadis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Biometeorology, National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Interests: urban climate; urban meteorology; urban pollution; urban planning
Dr. Letizia Cremonini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Biometeorology - CNR, National Research Council of Italy, Institute of BioMeteorology, Bologna Section, Via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Interests: urban planning; urban regeneration; nature based solutions; adaptation strategies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The immediate threat climate change poses to our common future requires that we fully reconsider the ways in which humankind interacts with the environment. Cities and their development should be considered one of the most relevant issues considering that within the next few decades most of Earth’s population will live inside city boundaries. The recent IPCC Special Report focused on the politics and mitigation strategies by which warming could be kept to within 1.5 °C. The most important chapter considered the actions, enforced by the Covenant of Majors, seeking to secure both population and production in the event that mitigation policies fail to be applied. The word that summarizes this approach is ‘resilience’—the capability of a system to recover from strain. To build more resilient cities, knowledge must be shared by numerous intersecting disciplines and policy makers via networks such as C40. It is vital to advance our knowledge of the following topics: urban climate, the interaction between climate and meteorology in the urban structure, the possibility to apply climate services (recently, the WMO urban guide) to create auto-regenerative solutions in the city structure, and the capability to transform projects from the paper to the city itself. This Special Issue aims to investigate the state of the art connections between the various disciplines involved in urban transformation and to understand if a common language already exists.

Prof. Dr. Teodoro Georgiadis
Dr. Letizia Cremonini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • cities and climate
  • urban climate
  • micrometeorology
  • city resilience
  • adaptation strategies
  • population wellness
  • nature based solutions
  • economics of the urban regeneration

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
A New Method to Assess Fine-Scale Outdoor Thermal Comfort for Urban Agglomerations
Climate 2020, 8(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8010006 - 06 Jan 2020
Abstract
In urban areas, high air temperatures and heat stress levels greatly affect human thermal comfort and public health, with climate change further increasing the mortality risks. This study presents a high resolution (100 m) modelling method, including detailed offline radiation calculations, that is [...] Read more.
In urban areas, high air temperatures and heat stress levels greatly affect human thermal comfort and public health, with climate change further increasing the mortality risks. This study presents a high resolution (100 m) modelling method, including detailed offline radiation calculations, that is able to efficiently calculate outdoor heat stress for entire urban agglomerations for a time period spanning several months. A dedicated measurement campaign was set up to evaluate model performance, yielding satisfactory results. As an example, the modelling tool was used to assess the effectiveness of green areas and water surfaces to cool air temperatures and wet bulb globe temperatures during a typical hot day in the city of Ghent (Belgium), since the use of vegetation and water bodies are shown to be promising in mitigating the adverse effects of urban heat islands and improving thermal comfort. The results show that air temperature reduction is most profound over water surfaces during the afternoon, while open rural areas are coolest during the night. Radiation shading from trees, and to a lesser extent, from buildings, is found to be most effective in reducing wet bulb globe temperatures and improving thermal comfort during the warmest moments of the day. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate and Adaptation Tools)
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Open AccessArticle
The RainBO Platform for Enhancing Urban Resilience to Floods: An Efficient Tool for Planning and Emergency Phases
Climate 2019, 7(12), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7120145 - 17 Dec 2019
Abstract
Many urban areas face an increasing flood risk, which includes the risk of flash floods. Increasing extreme precipitation events will likely lead to greater human and economic losses unless reliable and efficient early warning systems (EWS) along with other adaptation actions are put [...] Read more.
Many urban areas face an increasing flood risk, which includes the risk of flash floods. Increasing extreme precipitation events will likely lead to greater human and economic losses unless reliable and efficient early warning systems (EWS) along with other adaptation actions are put in place in urban areas. The challenge is in the integration and analysis in time and space of the environmental, meteorological, and territorial data from multiple sources needed to build up EWS able to provide efficient contribution to increase the resilience of vulnerable and exposed urban communities to flooding. Efficient EWS contribute to the preparedness phase of the disaster cycle but could also be relevant in the planning of the emergency phase. The RainBO Life project addressed this matter, focusing on the improvement of knowledge, methods, and tools for the monitoring and forecast of extreme precipitation events and the assessment of the associated flood risk for small and medium watercourses in urban areas. To put this into practice, RainBO developed a webGIS platform, which contributes to the “planning” of the management of river flood events through the use of detailed data and flood risk/vulnerability maps, and the “event management” with real-time monitoring/forecast of the events through the collection of observed data from real sensors, estimated/forecasted data from hydrologic models as well as qualitative data collected through a crowdsourcing app. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate and Adaptation Tools)
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Open AccessArticle
Land Use Changes in a Peri-Urban Area and Consequences on the Urban Heat Island
Climate 2019, 7(11), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7110133 - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
The effect of urbanization on microclimatic conditions is known as “urban heat islands”. In comparison with surrounding rural areas, urban climate is characterized by higher mean temperature, especially during heat waves and during nights. This results in a higher energy requirement for air [...] Read more.
The effect of urbanization on microclimatic conditions is known as “urban heat islands”. In comparison with surrounding rural areas, urban climate is characterized by higher mean temperature, especially during heat waves and during nights. This results in a higher energy requirement for air conditioning in buildings and in a greater bioclimatic discomfort for urban populations. The reasons of this phenomena are ascribable principally to the increase of solar radiation storage and to the decrease of dissipation of water by evapotranspiration in urban environment respect to rural ones. The aim of this paper is to give a quantification of the air temperature increase due to an urbanization process. This quantification is conducted by comparing surface energy balance (incoming and outcoming radiation and turbulent fluxes) in urbanized area versus rural areas. This quantitative approach will be validated using a fluidodynamic model (Envi-Met) in a case study area representative of one among the various regional models of urban area growth. In particular, the model of expansion of small towns around big cities (2003–2008 land use changes) of a plain near-urban area in the Po Valley region (Italy) was used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate and Adaptation Tools)
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Open AccessArticle
Air Pollution Flow Patterns in the Mexico City Region
Climate 2019, 7(11), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7110128 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
According to the Mexico City Emissions Inventory, mobile sources are responsible for approximately 86% of nitrogen oxide emissions in this region, and correspond to a NOx emission of 51 and 58 kilotons per year in Mexico City and the State of Mexico, respectively. [...] Read more.
According to the Mexico City Emissions Inventory, mobile sources are responsible for approximately 86% of nitrogen oxide emissions in this region, and correspond to a NOx emission of 51 and 58 kilotons per year in Mexico City and the State of Mexico, respectively. Ozone levels in this region are often high and persist as one of the main problems of air pollution. Identifying the main scenarios for the transport and dispersion of air pollutants requires the knowledge of their flow patterns. This work examines the surface flow patterns of air pollutants (NO2, O3, SO2, and PM10) in the area of Mexico City (a region with strong orographic influences) over the period 2001–2010. The flow condition of a pollutant depends on the spatial distribution of its concentration and the mode of wind circulation in the region. We achieved the identification and characterization of the pollutant flow patterns through the exploitation of the 1-hour average values of the pollutant concentrations and wind data provided by the atmospheric monitoring network of Mexico City and the application of the k-means method of cluster analysis. The data objects for the cluster analysis were obtained by modeling Mexico City as a 4-cell spatial domain and describing, for each pollutant, the flow state in a cell by the spatial averages of the horizontal pollutant flow vector and its gradients (the divergence and curl of the flow vector). We identified seven patterns for wind circulation and nine patterns for each of NO2, O3, PM10, and SO2 pollutant flows. Their seasonal and annual average intensities and probabilities of occurrence were estimated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate and Adaptation Tools)
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Green Infrastructures in Urban Planning for Climate Change Adaptation
Climate 2019, 7(10), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7100119 - 04 Oct 2019
Abstract
The population that lives in cities has surpassed the one that lives in the countryside. Cities are recognized as apriority source of pollution. The degradation of air quality and the phenomenon of Urban Heat Island (UHI) are some of the most well-known consequences [...] Read more.
The population that lives in cities has surpassed the one that lives in the countryside. Cities are recognized as apriority source of pollution. The degradation of air quality and the phenomenon of Urban Heat Island (UHI) are some of the most well-known consequences of urban development. The adaptation of the cities is emerging as one of the greatest challenges that urban planners will face in this century. Urban Green Infrastructures (GIs) could help cities adapt to climate change, and the strategy of expansion of greening in urban planning could play an important role in enhancing the sustainability and resilience of cities and communities. Many studies have shown the benefits of GIs to climate change mitigation and adaptation in urban areas and their role as an important urban planning tool to satisfy environmental, social, and economic needs of urban areas. The objective of this article is to propose a methodological approach to evaluate the social perception of citizens regarding urban green areas. The proposed methodology, applied to the reality of the “urban green system” of Catania, is based on an integrated approach between participatory planning and the methods social multi criteria evaluation to guiding the city’s government to realize a new urban resilient development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate and Adaptation Tools)
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Open AccessArticle
Negotiating Institutional Pathways for Sustaining Climate Change Resilience and Risk Governance in Indonesia
Climate 2019, 7(8), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7080095 - 30 Jul 2019
Abstract
Institutions matter because they are instrumental in systematically adapting to global climate change, reducing disaster risks, and building resilience. Without institutionalised action, adapting to climatic change remains ad-hoc. Using exploratory research design and longitudinal observations, this research investigates how urban stakeholders and policy [...] Read more.
Institutions matter because they are instrumental in systematically adapting to global climate change, reducing disaster risks, and building resilience. Without institutionalised action, adapting to climatic change remains ad-hoc. Using exploratory research design and longitudinal observations, this research investigates how urban stakeholders and policy entrepreneurs negotiate institutional architecture and pathways for sustaining climate change adaptation and resilience implementation. This paper introduces hybrid institutionalism as a framework to understand how city administrators, local policy makers, and policy advocates navigate complex institutional landscapes that are characterised by volatility and uncertainties. Grounded in the experience from a recent experiment in Indonesia, this research suggests that institutionalisation of adaptation and resilience agenda involves different forms of institutionalisation and institutionalism through time. Future continuity of adaptation to climate change action depends on the dynamic nature of the institutionalism that leads to uncertainty in mainstreaming risk reduction. However, this research found that pathway-dependency theory emerges as a better predictor for institutionalising climate change adaptation and resilience in Indonesia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate and Adaptation Tools)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
The Maturing Interdisciplinary Relationship between Human Biometeorological Aspects and Local Adaptation Processes: An Encompassing Overview
Climate 2019, 7(12), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7120134 - 25 Nov 2019
Abstract
To date, top-down approaches have played a fundamental role in expanding the comprehension of both existing, and future, climatological patterns. In liaison, the focus attributed to climatic mitigation has shifted towards the identification of how climatic adaptation can specifically prepare for an era [...] Read more.
To date, top-down approaches have played a fundamental role in expanding the comprehension of both existing, and future, climatological patterns. In liaison, the focus attributed to climatic mitigation has shifted towards the identification of how climatic adaptation can specifically prepare for an era prone to further climatological aggravations. Within this review study, the progress and growing opportunities for the interdisciplinary integration of human biometeorological aspects within existing and future local adaptation efforts are assessed. This encompassing assessment of the existing literature likewise scrutinises existing scientific hurdles in approaching existing/future human thermal wellbeing in local urban contexts. The respective hurdles are subsequently framed into new research opportunities concerning human biometeorology and its increasing interdisciplinary significance in multifaceted urban thermal adaptation processes. It is here where the assembly and solidification of ‘scientific bridges’ are acknowledged within the multifaceted ambition to ensuring a responsive, safe and thermally comfortable urban environment. Amongst other aspects, this review study deliberates upon numerous scientific interferences that must be strengthened, inclusively between the: (i) climatic assessments of both top-down and bottom-up approaches to local human thermal wellbeing; (ii) rooted associations between qualitative and quantitative aspects of thermal comfort in both outdoor and indoor environments; and (iii) efficiency and easy-to-understand communication with non-climatic experts that play an equally fundamental role in consolidating effective adaptation responses in an era of climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate and Adaptation Tools)
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Other

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Open AccessPerspective
Urban Transformation: From Single-Point Solutions to Systems Innovation
Climate 2020, 8(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8010017 - 20 Jan 2020
Abstract
Adapting our cities to the new climate regime is critical to ensure that human development is not jeopardized and that the world’s citizens can thrive where they live. Faced as we are with the imperative to act, we now need to accept that [...] Read more.
Adapting our cities to the new climate regime is critical to ensure that human development is not jeopardized and that the world’s citizens can thrive where they live. Faced as we are with the imperative to act, we now need to accept that the challenges we face are not technical in nature—they are systemic. Traditionally, investments in low-carbon city solutions have suffered from being small and disaggregated, with a focus on single-point solutions. To truly enable city transformation at scale, we need to completely rewire our approach to urban innovation and implementation. To face our new reality, EIT Climate-KIC works on catalysing systems change through innovation in areas of human activity that have a critical impact on greenhouse gas emissions—cities, land use, materials, and finance—and to create climate-resilient communities. In this paper, EIT Climate-KIC reflects on its key learnings, as an innovation community, on how to apply innovation in service of urban transformation through the application of nature-based solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate and Adaptation Tools)
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