The Research Unit (RU) is highly innovative for various reasons. Although interdisciplinary research is nowadays well established also in fundamental research, application-oriented disciplines like architecture or urban/environmental planning are rarely participating in consortia targeting on fundamental research in science- and technology-oriented research projects.

We aim at giving answers to fundamental research questions in all of the involved scientific disciplines. We do not intend to develop ready-to-use applications for problem solving. Nevertheless, we expect to directly and significantly support development and testing of such applications.

In contrast to other research projects addressing heat stress in cities, we do not use short-term, idealised conditions like special weather situations characterised by clear skies and high intensities of solar radiation in combination with high air-temperatures and low wind speed for our analyses.

Instead, we reanalyse the real weather conditions in the studied city at very high spatial (down to a few metres) and temporal (one hour) resolution for a period of more than a decade. Doing so, we will be able to analyse real cases of increased heat-stress hazards and risks, as well as the effectiveness of actions for reducing heat-stress risks.

We use a formally strict risk concept both in the sub-projects and the entire RU, which is based on well- established elements of natural disaster research combined in a new form to ensure its applicability for a quantification of all variables related to heat-stress risks. Both the hazard and vulnerability part of heat-stress risks will be analysed from existing data of the period 2001 to 2010, and then projected to the period 2041 to 2050. This kind of research on heat-stress risks has not been published yet.

A unique approach followed by the RU is to include a year-round assessment of the efficiency of the actions that have proven to be effective with respect to heat stress. Since we will use spatially distributed, real-case weather data also for the winter seasons, we will, for instance, be able to analyse the mean annual energy consumption of buildings that do have varying locations within the city, different forms of urban green (including green facades) and building designs, and applying different building technologies.

A broad spectrum of different state-of-the-art methods will be used in this project combining tools of natural sciences like experiments, physically-based numerical models or geo-information technologies with such from architecture, planning and social sciences.

Quick Contact

Prof. Dr. Dieter Scherer (TUB)
Prof. Dr. Tobia Lakes (HUB)
Dr. Ute Fehrenbach (TUB)
Dr. Fred Meier (TUB)


Map of our observations:
UCaHS Observation Network
Latest Publication:
Jänicke, B., F. Meier, D. Fenner, U. Fehrenbach, A. Holtmann, D. Scherer (2016): Urban-rural differences in near-surface air temperature as resolved by the Central Europe Refined analysis (CER): sensitivity to planetary boundary layer schemes and urban canopy models. International Journal of Climatology, 37 (4):2063-2079.
Mahlkow, N. and J. Donner (2016): From Planning to Implementation? The Role of Climate Change Adaptation Plans to Tackle Heat Stress. A Case Study of Berlin, Germany. Journal of Planning Education and Research 1-12.