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Urban climate

Climate change is particularly noticeable in metropolitan areas and inner-city areas. The increase in low-exchange radiation weather conditions increases heat stress, especially within low-wind urban areas. There is a heat island effect and ventilation can be inadequate, which affects air hygiene and thermal comfort in the city.  Heat waves in recent years (e.g. in 2003, 2006, 2018, 2019 and 2022) with thousands of deaths in Europe and high economic damage impressively show the consequences of heat stress.

In order to ensure the health, well-being and performance of people in cities, urban planning must be optimised in such a way that the thermal loads are bearable even under extreme heat conditions - outdoors as well as indoors. This necessity is legally anchored in particular in the Building Code (BauGB): According to BauGB § 1 paragraph 5 sentence 2, urban land-use plans are intended to contribute, among other things, to ensuring a humane environment and to promoting climate protection and climate adaptation, especially in urban development. Our urban climate maps and recommendation maps can form the basis for appropriate optimisation.


Urban climate maps and recommendation maps

Urban climate maps, formerly referred to as climate function maps, are created by us in accordance with VDI guideline 3787 sheet 1. The area is examined for various properties:

  • Aspects that influence warming (e.g. land use, building density, vegetation)
  • Aspects that influence the cold and fresh air supply (e.g. slope inclination, ventilation paths, wind statistics)

By combining these findings, climatopes can be identified, i.e. spatial units in which the microclimate is relatively homogeneous. These are displayed in the urban climate maps. The above-mentioned VDI guideline defines the following climatopes and their importance: outdoor climate (fresh and cold air generation area), forest climate (fresh air generation area), climate of inner-city green spaces (mixed and transitional climates), suburban climate (overheating potential), urban climate (moderate overheating), inner city climate (severe overheating).




To ensure that the information obtained can be used directly in planning, we create a recommendation map in addition to the urban climate map. It provides direct planning recommendations as to which areas are worthy of protection and how sensitive their microclimatic functions are to changes in use. It also shows areas in need of renovation where efforts should be made to improve the microclimate.