In a city it is always a few degrees warmer than in the countryside. Extreme events such as heat waves reinforce this temperature rise and lead to health problems caused by heat stress exposure. Result: in densely populated areas, people are facing health issues earlier and more often. Identifying and locating the vulnerable population such as elderly people, children, etc. is of high importance for emergency planning and response.
The "Urban Heat Island" effect is caused by dense housing and urban infrastructure. As part of the NACLIM project, a major research program of the European Commission, GIM analyses together with VITO the impact of climate changes on urban heat-sensitive areas, such as the City of Antwerp (see map). By combining detailed city geodata with urban climate models, urban "hotspots" and their intensity are mapped. In Antwerp these heat stress exposure maps are used in planning processes and in the preparation of urban and local green plans.
NACLIM is a European Union 7th Framework Program project running from 2012 to 2017. This research assesses the quality of climate predictions in the long term (decades) and its influence on the variations in sea surface temperature in the North Atlantic / Arctic sector and urban societies in Europe.
* In the framework of NACLIM www.naclim.eu
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union 7th Framework Programme (FP7 2007-2013), under grant agreement n.308299