URGENT: Energetic Effects of Urban GreEN for the Adaptation to Temperature Extremes in Climate Analogs


Project description and Initial Situation

The consequences of climate change include the increased occurring of temperature extremes. Urban areas are particularly affected by this, as they are exposed to greater heat stress than their surroundings due to the urban heat island phenomenon (UHI). This characteristic of urban areas can lead to problems for human health and the well-being of the population during periods of temperature extremes in the summer month. These trends have also been observed in Aachen in recent years and the situation is predicted to worsen. Urban and peri-urban green such as parks, alleys, roof and facade greening or forests in the urban surroundings, can have a cooling effect of the urban climate. Through ecosystem services such as these, green spaces can reduce the intensity of the UHI and contribute to mitigate the consequences of temperature extremes.

Project Goals

The central questions of this project is how large (quantitatively, spatially, temporally) the positive effects of urban and peri-urban green on the energetic flows in urban areas are and whether they can contribute to an effective adaption to current and future temperature extremes. This is intended to be analyzed both for individual cities and comparatively between urban areas of different climate zones. The focus will be on climate analogue regions. These are characterized by the fact that region A already exhibits climatic properties that are predicted for region B in the future due to ongoing climate change. In the case of Aachen, for example, a comparison with cities in southern French regions would be conceivable. Based on these analyses, it is intended to design conclusive scenarios for the future development of energetic effects of green spaces on urban climate. This project is being supported by the Dr. Hohmann sponsorship provided by the Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Köln e.V.


Department of Geography RWTH Aachen, Department of Physical Geography and Climatology:

  • Niels Döscher, M.Sc.
  • Dr. Gunnar Ketzler
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Leuchner