Urban planning to minimize Urban Heat Island (UHI)​

“No city is immune to UHI, but it can be reduced through greening”​

Urbanization affects heat concentration in cities, creating the urban heat island effect (UHI). This phenomenon is predominantly caused by concrete, stone and road surfaces absorbing and retaining energy from the sun. As a result, the urban area is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural area, especially during nighttime. This effect increases energy costs, air pollution levels, and heat-related illness and mortality, particularly for the most vulnerable populations and most vulnerable areas of the city. Urban planning, which determines the city density, morphology and land use is key to mitigate UHI. Moreover, and related to land use, it is well-known that trees and green areas have been proven to cool cities. Additionally, green areas and ‘nature walks’ are increasingly linked to physical and mental health benefits, proving also habitat for animals and enhancing biodiversity.​

Major policy questions:

  • Which areas have higher surface heat concentration within the city?
  • Which are the most affected neighbourhoods regarding UHI? ​
  • What are the main sectoral impacts derived from UHI?​
  • What can urban planning do to mitigate UHI? What solutions are available and how much can nature-based solutions improve the problem? ​
  • Where are the greening possibilities and best places to start planning solutions? ​

Heatmaps, represented by Surface Urban Heat Island (SUHI) and social vulnerability information allows the detection of hot-spots areas within a city. With this information and using Climate Impact Diagrams, it allows ashared understanding of sectoral climate change risks associated with UHI. ​This dialogue can enable urban planners to find and benchmark solutions via RESIN Adaptation Option Library that help to minimize UHI considering the arisen envisioned opportunities. On the other hand, the Climate Resilient City Toolbox (CRCT) can simulate benefits at project level of NbS implementation.​

Not available yet

The climate story of Gdynia​

Short summary: A story about Jan and Maria during extreme precipitation.

Theme: Flooding

End user: Citizens

Link to the story: under construction