Cities are experiencing a significant alteration in climate patterns compared to their surroundings, posing tough challenges (cities warming, poor air quality and increased impacts of extreme weather and climate events such as heat waves, floods, droughts, storms) to the urban populations. On this topic, several studies have highlighted that cities are usually warmer than their surroundings resulting in a particular urban climate pattern known as Urban Heat Island (UHI). At present, the UHI represents one clear example of inadvertent anthropogenic climate modification able to affect the life quality of the urban population potentially inducing a state of discomfort especially in the most vulnerable people, such as children, elders and less well-off people.
For this reason, local hazard analysis, vulnerability analysis and risk assessment, supported by using regional climate models at very high resolution able to capture urban dynamics, are key to support development and implementation of effective local adaptation actions to make well-adapted and climate-resilient cities, i.e. more sustainable ones. In this perspective, the challenge for scientific community is to define a set of evidence-based tools relying on a proper understanding of current and future conditions to easily transfer knowledge to city administrations, decision-makers and stakeholders. This can be achieved by considering numerical models capable of capturing the urban structure levels and properly simulating the urban climate.
In complex contexts as cities characterized by relevant space constraints, the identification of best solutions should be inclined to prioritize those allowing the achievement of concurrent and multiple goals. In this perspective, Nature Based Solutions (NBSs) have attracted great interest in recent years. They could address, at the same time, different needs: lowering local air temperatures through several mechanisms (shadowing, evapotranspiration), reducing runoff after heavy rainfall events and then flood risks, and providing recreational activities. Nevertheless, the long-term maintenance of these ones and their effectiveness compared to other tailored grey (structural) solutions actually represent challenging open questions.
Focusing on the impacts of UHI, this study aims to investigate the alterations in temperature and energy fluxes occurring between cities and surrounding areas, and to quantify the performance of some local adaptation measures in reducing the UHI intensity in Mediterranean areas. These objectives are addressed adopting as numerical tool the Town Energy Balance (TEB) model.
Working language: English
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