Climate change is likely to affect living conditions in urban areas, causing, for example, an increase in the urban heat island effect. Understanding why urban areas have a higher temperature than their rural surroundings and finding appropriate adaptation measures are topics in the Climate proof cities research project (KfC theme 4). In our work package we have looked at the potential impact of future land-use changes on this phenomenon.

As part of the Urban Environment Lab course, students from the Amsterdam University College measured the urban heat island effect in Amsterdam using their bicycles and simple temperature and position loggers. The students linked the observed temperature differences to various urban characteristics and used scenario-based simulations of future use to explore potential future urban heat island patterns.. The urban heat island measuring methodology and results were presented at the International Conference on Climate Change Effects in Potsdam, Germany on 27-30 May 2013. The observed and simulated urban heat island patterns for a typical summer evening (maximum daytime temperature of 20° C) are shown in Figure 2. The figure shows that a limited increase in intensity is to be expected as well as a gradual extension towards current suburbs. In addition to the impact of land-use change we also explored the potential impact of climate change. See the weblink for the full conference contribution and more information.

These research and educational activities are carried out in Theme 8 of the Knowledge for Climate programme.

Simulating future urban heat islands using the socio-economic scenarios
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