Co-produced vulnerability assessments for URBAN heat events through the integration of micro-scale climate modelling and participatory approaches.

Urban tree | image: @ Adobe Stock, VOJTa Herout


Heat poses a major health threat in urban environments, especially to vulnerable population groups. The demand for climate adaptation concepts to better counter the impacts of climate change in municipalities is growing. To support urban adaptation concepts, there is a high need for comprehensive vulnerability assessments that meet the needs of practitioners.
The aim of the URBANLINE project is the joint development and testing of new methods for the assessment of vulnerabilities towards urban heat. The city of Constance serves as a case study. Vulnerabilities will be investigated from two perspectives: On the one hand, micro-scale climate modelling, tailored to the specific urban area under study, will provide detailed insights into localized climate impacts and city hot spots of urban heat islands. The models also allow to assess the impact of adaptation measures on the micro-climate. On the other hand, we aim to bring the modelled results into dialogue with people’s experiences. Perceptions of vulnerabilities and coping strategies during heat events among different socio-economic groups will be investigated through participatory and creative methods. Following a transdisciplinary process, the project aims to integrate the results of the micro-scale modelling and the participatory assessment and co-produce an integrated vulnerability assessment together with city stakeholders. The lessons learnt will result in recommendations for the development of a climate service for an integrated vulnerability assessment that is informed by on-the-ground experiences, making it more relevant and actionable for practitioners.

Aims & Objectives

  • Assessment of current vulnerability indicators, indices and assessments and their application by practitioners for climate change adaptation
  • Development of localized climate projections, considering microclimatic variations and the specific setting of an urban environment using the LES model PALM4
  • Participatory assessment of perceived vulnerabilities and coping strategies during heat events among the urban population
  • Co-production of an integrated vulnerability assessment for Constance and recommendations for the development of a usable vulnerability assessment with the city administration

Project Staff

Principal Investigators
Prof. Dr. Martina Neuburger, Institute of Geography, Universität Hamburg
Prof. Dr. Bernd Leitl, Meteorological Institute, Universität Hamburg
Dr. Thomas Pohl, Institute of Geography, Universität Hamburg
Dr. Diana Rechid, Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS)
Dr. Laura Schmidt, Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS)
Dr. Claas Teichmann, Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS)

PhD candidates