CORDIS - EU research results

urbisphere - coupling dynamic cities and climate

Project description

A new way to forecast climate and urban planning for cities

Growing cities face a number of problems relating to climatic conditions and congestion. The EU-funded urbisphere initiative will adopt a radically new approach in addressing this issue. It will forecast and project urban futures and climates using a dynamic framework that incorporates weather, air quality, differential exposure and vulnerability of people from neighbourhoods to cities. The project will develop and link urban-surface models as well as human exposure and vulnerability models to better forecast exposure, emissions and intervention potential in cities. The system will use a real-time 4D smart urban observation system to provide targeted data using novel ground and remote-sensing technology. The urbisphere project will show scientists a new way to conceptualise, characterise and forecast climate and urban planning for cities.


urbisphere will change how the scientific community conceptualises, characterizes and forecasts cities in the climate system and in urban planning, by developing a radically new approach to integrate multiple dimensions of urban change, their interaction and feedbacks. It aims to forecast and project urban futures and climates in a dynamic framework considering weather, air quality, differential exposure and vulnerability of people at neighbourhood to city scale. It will provide new insights into existing and emerging risks, based on a synergistic effort across disciplines which currently work mostly in parallel. Urban-Surface Models (USM) and Human Exposure and Vulnerability models (HEV) will be developed and coupled to improve the forecasting of exposure, emissions, and intervention potentials in cities. This will transform emergency/risk management, atmospheric forecasting and long-term urban development/adaptation strategies in the urban sphere. The system will use a real-time 4D Smart Urban Observation System (SmUrObS) to provide targeted urban form/function/emissions/exposure data using novel ground and remote sensing technology. The USM-HEV-SmUrObS system will equip us with: 1) a deep understanding of socio-economic dynamics and human behaviour and responses to weather and climate, economic (and other) drivers that transform cities’ exposure and vulnerability to climate change-related hazards (like heat); 2) a consistent method that can be scaled from detailed high-resolution modelling of intra-neighbourhood scale characteristics, to climate and socio-economic modelling and assessment at city, regional and global scales; 3) an approach that can inform global climate and global vulnerability and risk modelling; will allow consistent downscaling to the city for decision making for local urban risk and resilience management; and provide information on the dynamic nexus of exposure and vulnerability of people in cities.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 2 892 250,00
70013 Irakleio

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Νησιά Αιγαίου Κρήτη Ηράκλειο
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 2 892 250,00

Beneficiaries (4)