Heat stress in the city explores

CLIMES analyzes the consequences of climate change and its impact on well-being

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The increasing extreme heat periods in the summer are felt above all by people in urban areas. Since the increased heat load permanently limits the quality of life, scientists in the new joint project KLIMES are now investigating the thermal comfort in inner cities and city districts. The aim is to adapt the urban design and planning tasks in our climate region to the requirements of the future.


"The negative effects of climate change will be felt especially in densely populated areas such as the Ruhr area, " says PD Dr. med. Michael Bruse from the Geomatics group at the Geographical Institute of the Ruhr University Bochum. "The increasingly dense development of cities and traffic areas reduces the exchange of air masses." The result is a year-round heat surplus, the so-called heat island effect, which is increasingly exacerbated. "Especially in summer, this causes increased heat load on humans and significantly limits the quality of life, " says Bruse. The performance, well-being and health of people in cities will be affected more frequently, over longer periods of time and more strongly than before.

Analysis with ENVI-met and BOTworld

This is where the joint project KLIMES of the Universities of Bochum, Freiburg and Kassel comes in. With the help of measurements and simulations, the researchers are investigating the thermal comfort in city neighborhoods: For this purpose, they are expanding the Bochum simulation model "ENVI-met" with analysis modules that make it possible to estimate the thermal load indoors as well. In addition, the RUB geographers use their model "BOTworld" - a multi-agent simulation - in this project: they can analyze the thermal perception of pedestrians and the resulting behavioral patterns. Any number of "citizens" (BOTs) can run the researchers through our inner cities, the BOTs then evaluate the environmental quality offered.

The project has a term of three years and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with 630, 000 euros. The joint project KLIMES is part of the initiative "Research for climate protection and protection against climate impacts" of the BMBF. The interdisciplinary research group combines urban climatology, urban planning and geoinformatics. display

(idw - Ruhr-University Bochum, 16.02.2007 - AHE)