The Research Unit (RU) was 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 aimed at giving answers to fundamental research questions in all of the involved scientific disciplines. We did not intend to develop ready-to-use applications for problem solving. Nevertheless, we expected to directly and significantly support development and testing of such applications.

In contrast to other research projects addressing heat stress in cities, we did 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 reanalysed 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 have been 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 used a formally strict risk concept both in the sub-projects and the entire RU, which was 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 were analysed from existing data of the period 2001 to 2010.

A unique approach followed by the RU was 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 used spatially distributed, real-case weather data also for the winter seasons, we were, for instance, 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, applying different building technologies.

A broad spectrum of different state-of-the-art methods were 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:
Donner, J., Sprondel, N. F. and J. Köppel (2017): Climate Change Adaptation to Heat Risk at the Local Level: A Bayesian Network Analysis of Local Land-Use Plan Implementation. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, 19 (2).
Follow-on projects:
Heat waves in Berlin, Germany – Urban climate modifications

BMBF Programme Urban Climate Under Change

Urban Vertical Green 2.0