Bioclimatic urban design for the sustainability and resilience of the urban environment in the context of climate change (BIOASTY)

Climate change has led to national, regional and local adaptation measures. However, these measures are not usually implemented in a targeted way, i.e. in the areas with the most significant problem, or they are not designed in the optimal way in order to have the maximum efficiency at local scale. BIOASTY comes to fill this gap.

The main objective of the project is to evaluate thermal comfort in different urban environments, using appropriate models at very high resolution and to propose specific measures to improve the thermal conditions.

The final product of the project will be an operational system including comprehensive protocols of actions for application in any urban area, in order to optimize the resilience of the urban environment for various climate change scenarios.

In more detail, the thermal comfort for the selected areas,  through use of PET (Physiologically Equivalent Temperature) and UTCI (Universal Thermal Climate Index) indexes will be calculated with the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model ENVI-met, at very high resolution (1m x 1m). Measurements from the nearest meteorological stations as well as sub-scaling of the ERA5 data of the European COPERNICUS service at a local scale of 1 × 1 km with the atmospheric model WRF, will be used as input data to the CFD model. Moreover, future scenarios will be simulated from downscaling of the emission mitigation scenario (RCP4.5) and the extreme climate scenario (RCP8.5) with the WRF model. The simulations will be evaluated using high spatial and temporal resolution measurements obtained:

(i)            by a bicycle equipped with meteorological sensors and

(ii)           by an unmanned aerial vehicle equipped with a thermal camera.

Finally, optimization simulations will be performed for both the current situation and for future climate scenarios, by using alternative types of vegetation, building materials and bioclimatic-architectural design.

The final evaluation of bioclimatic design scenarios will lead to the proposal of specific measures, taking into account additional environmental, social and techno-economic parameters, thus, providing users (e.g. regions, municipalities, public and private bodies) with specific substantiated solutions for adapting to national and European policies on urban sustainability and resilience to climate change.