EU Green Week 2018: Greener cities for a greener future, 21st-25th of May, Brussels
Not only “Clarity” tries to adapt better to climate change and to create climate services to become greener and safer, also other projects do. “Climate-fit.city” is part of the H2020-programme, too. To sum up, “My Climate Service” sees its task to promote sister projects like this one. “Climate-fit.city” presented its strategy at the EU Green Week in Brussels on the 22nd of May, talking about the benefits of Urban Climate Service and its role for society.
The Climate-fit.city-consortium consists of 14 partners from six different countries (AT, BE, CH, CZ, DE, IT, ES). All partners applied for the H2020-programm with the project “PUCS” (“Pan-European Urban Climate Services”), which was renamed into “Climate-fit.city” after a few months. The coordinators of the project are Riikka Pohjankoski and Cédric Hananel of the Belgian companies ARCTIK and VITO.
Joining EU Green Week
The EU Green Week's main topic is “Green Cities for a Greener Future". Speakers showcase how the sectors “urban planning”, “active mobility”, and “emergency management” benefit from urban climate services and facilitate the (eco-)design of intelligent cities. Urban climate information providers and city planners as well as EU and national decision-makers were participating.
On Tuesday 22nd, Dina Silina, Policy Officer, Directorate-General for Climate Action of the European Commission started with some introducing words in the VLEVA Auditorium in Brussels. Then Filip Lefebre from VITO presented the benefits of urban climate services. He explained that Climate-fit.city assists decision-making at local government level and develops climate services. “Due to the high concentration of people, infrastructure, and economic activity cities are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as heat waves and flash floods”. Also, he always highlighted the positive aspects instead of the negative threats of climate change. The event was closed with a final discussion talking about how cities currently make use of urban climate services and how they could be increased.
“Cities have a unique opportunity to use advanced climate services to become greener, safer, and to enhance the quality of life of their inhabitants.”
What does Climate-fit.city do in comparison to Clarity?
Climate-fit.city has a lot in common with Clarity. The different partners translate scientific urban climate data into relevant information for public and private end-users from these sectors too. They too create services in a wide range of urban sectors presented by demonstration cases for each category: mobility, energy, cultural heritage, emergency planning, health services, and urban planning.
The projects in detail
Partner: Bike Citizens
What is it about: This project supports cyclists and pedestrians in finding the climatically most comfortable routes (e.g. routes least affected by wind, heat, etc.), identifies routes that are exposed to uncomfortable climatic conditions now or in the future, and supports cities in terms of infrastructure planning to build climate-resilient, integrated urban cycling and walking infrastructure systems.
VITO is an independent European research and technology organization working in the areas of cleantech and sustainable development.
Locations: Bern & Antwerp
What is it about: The urban heat effect will be analysed via building a simulation tool called "UrbClim", which will be included within the Meteonorm software.
Field: Cultural Heritage
SSBAR (Soprintendenza Speciale Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio di Roma) belongs to the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism
What is it about: In this study SSBAR investigates on extreme rain and excessive heat in combination with air pollution and allergenic pollen in Rome – factors that lead to uncomfortable conditions for tourists visiting. Elderly, asthmatic, or sick persons can be sensitive to the health impacts. SSBAR has the institutional objective to protect the archaeological heritage of the City of Rome for future generations. So, they create a forecast service with detailed climate data to manage tourist flows better.
Field: Emergency Planning
Partners: KU Leuven & City of Antwerp
What is it about: The KU Leuven develops an Emergency Planning Service for the fire brigade, police, ambulances, or evacuations in Antwerp based on the existing tool. They revise traffic routes taking extreme weather conditions into consideration.
Field: Health Services
What is it about: Since the urban heat island effect causes effects on health ASPB studies summer temperature -- daily mortality relationships by overlaying high-resolution temperature data from the urban climate model "UrbClim". This information will enable decision-makers to better understand the impacts of urban climate and climate change on human health.
Field: Urban Planning
Locations: Prague, Ostrava & Hodonin
What is it about: Green areas such as parks or trees in a city have strong cooling effects on the local climate. Thanks to the evapotranspiration process vegetation absorbs heat, increases local humidity, and also provides shade, which is necessary for upcoming heat waves. Again, "UrbClim" developed by VITO and an interactive web-based map tool developed by the Czech geoinformation company GISAT will be combined to create a web tool for stakeholders to explore, analyse, or modify the temperature maps in time series to do better urban planning in the future.
City profile Brussels
Brussels has about 180.000 inhabitants and is not only the capital of the Kingdom of Belgium but also the capital city of the EU, NATO, Eucontrol, and the Benelux Union. Its main industrial sector is the public services sector. The distance between Brussels and Mechelen was one of the first railways on the European continent in the 1800s. Since 1992 Brussels is home to the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the European Council in the European Quarter. Inspired by the zero-waste movement Brussels has significantly reduced its waste (20 % since 2000). The goal is to recycle 50 % of the waste by 2020. From May to July an event for a wasteless society called "Hulpbronnen - en afvalbeheerplan" will take place where residents can participate. Further, the city is part of the EU GreenWeek in May 2018.
Personal hint: Young people come together on "Place du Luxembourg", next to the European Quarter, especially on thursday nights. The city has a huge cultural scene and many events are for free. Belgium's delicacy are "Fries with clams".