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Climate-Sensitive Urban Planning

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Planning and guidelining for Aspern Seestadt

 

Objective

The project objective was to develop sets of information on climate sensitivity to aid the planning process of Aspern Seestadt. Enhanced information will enable urban improvements in terms of the street network layout, open-space distribution and blue and green infrastructure, which in turn will mitigate the effects of climate change.

 

Project description

Climate change will likely lead to significant increases in annual temperature averages, and urban areas especially will have to find ways to deal with a growing number of heat episodes. This project forecasted climate conditions for a new district, Aspern Seestadt, to suggest improvements with respect to climate sensitivity. Relevant climatic parameters were provided through climate data from a nearby monitoring site and through climate simulation data that were extracted from AITs climate model, which supplies information on projected climatic changes in the region through 2050.

Local climate conditions for Aspern Seestadt and microclimate conditions for selected open spaces were determined through local climate assessment and microclimate simulation, with a special focus on irradiance, shading, wind currents and thermal effects. Based on these outcomes, plans were adjusted to improve the future microclimatic conditions within the new district. Moreover, climate-related design guidelines and an action catalogue were developed to assist in designing the new district.

 

Main conclusions

  • The district layout, resulting from a design competition, was elaborated further, based on the project’s climate findings.
  • A guideline on climate-sensitive planning was developed for the district’s realisation process.
  • A smart street network and southwest/southeast-facing building orientation has reduced full sun exposure time and extended shade periods. 
  • The allocation of open spaces within the overall block structure was adjusted to improve the district’s air ventilation, resulting in major cooling effects.
  • The installation of permeable surfaces will enable enhanced evaporation, while a tree-planting scheme will improve local cooling capacity and mitigate urban heat island effects.

 

Funder

Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft (FFG)