SCORCHIO: Sustainable Cities: Options for Responsing to Climate cHange Impacts and Outcomes

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Civil Engineering and Geosciences

Abstract

Urban areas are remarkably vulnerable to global warming; unhealthiness and discomfort from buildings overheating in the summer and increased pollution as well as flooding, subsidence and other effects. The 2003 heat wave was considered responsible for 14,802 and 2,045 excess deaths in France and England and Wales respectively. Our urban and city areas are becoming increasingly unhealthy, dangerous and uncomfortable to work and live in. Projected rates of urban growth mean that vulnerability will increase at the same time as the impacts of climate change become greater. Actions by planners, designers and infrastructure owners are required in the short term if cities are to avoid becoming ever more vulnerable in the long term. These are already urgent problems. Neither the effects of the urban landscape nor the heat released by human activities within cities are considered in standard climate change research, but these have been shown to be potentially very significant. Also the science and practice of adaptation of the built environment to climate change is still in its infancy. For climate change adaptation strategies to be developed for cities and regions in the UK, there is therefore an urgent need for decision support tools to appraise and design adaptation options. The new forecasts from the UK Climate Impacts Programme UKCIP (called the UKCIPnext scenarios) will provide new, better predictions. SCORCHIO (Sustainable Cities: Options for Responding to Climate cHange Impacts and Outcomes) aims to develop tools that use these new forecasts to help planners, designers, engineers and users to adapt urban areas, with a particular emphasis on heat and human comfort. It will do so by addressing the following objectives:1. To develop on a PC a climate simulator for urban areas that can be used for assessing the problems and the adaptation to avoid or reduce them, taking account of both greenhouse warming and other weather changes and the additional effect of the urban landscape and heating due to the buildings, roads and traffic. 2. To model typical buildings and their surroundings in order to develop a new, readily usable heat and human comfort vulnerability index that accounts for the effects of building construction, type of building and how buildings, spaces and roads are sited in the city and urban areas. 3. To estimate the heat from buildings, together with a set of energy-related air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions to understand different building adaptation options.4. To develop computer map-based (GIS-based) methods for examining adaptation in planning and design to avoid climate change problems for urban and city areas. 5. To demonstrate the methods and tools developed in this work through in depth case studies, working in partnership with practicing planners and designers in Manchester and Sheffield.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The aim of the SCORCHIO was to develop decision support tools to allow practitioners to analyse climate change adaptation strategies for cities in the UK in relation to future temperature risk. The contribution of Newcastle University to this project concentrated on, (i) Downscaling of weather variables and generation of temperature scenarios (Tasks 1.2 & 1.3), (ii) Classification of buildings (Task 2.1), and (iii) The development of a temperature risk decision support tool (Task 3.1).
Research on downscaling of weather variables was led by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and is covered in UEA's final report. This work is currently being extended in the Tyndall Cities and ARCADIA projects . The use of remotely-sensed spatial patterns of surface temperature (Task 1.3) was undertaken as part of the GIS decision support tool developed in Task 3.
Accurate description of the building stock at the city scale is essential to understand present and future temperature risk. Newcastle University, working closely with other academic partners, has focused on the provision of such information (Task 2.1). MasterMap and AddressPoint2 data, supplied by project partner Ordnance Survey, describing building plots and postal addresses in the UK was used to develop building stock classification software within a commercial GIS. Residential buildings were characterised by their spatial connectivity (detached, semi-detached or detached) and an inferred estimated age of construction. For non-residential buildings AddressPoint2 data was used to derive the different activities present (e.g., retail, office, manufacturing, etc.). The resulting software can be used to analyse whole cities, reporting at the level of spatially contiguous blocks and also broader-scale geographical neighbourhoods.
The building classification outputs have been integrated with climate hazard and vulnerability information from collaborating academic partners into a city-scale spatial decision support tool that maps the spatial patterns of the future temperature risk (Task 3.1). The downscaled temperatures produced by the MetOffice Hadley Centre and CRU, along with empirical model predictions of heat emission and surface temperatures generated by Manchester University, and estimated surface temperatures from thermal satellite images (Task 1.3) have been spatially integrated within a multi-criteria evaluation framework to characterise current and future heat hazard. These were integrated with metrics on population vulnerability and exposure associated with building stock to generate temperature risk maps. A GIS-based tool was developed to implement this city-scale risk mapping approach as part of the SCORCHIO SCHEME suite of tools . The tool allows users to weight different hazards, vulnerability and exposure layers in order to generate and analyse current and future temperature risk.
Exploitation Route The research has been undertaken in close collaboration with industrial and local authority stakeholders. A series of in-depth case studies have been developed working with practicing planners and designers. An exemplar implementation of the city-scale spatial decision support tool for Manchester has been successfully achieved. The final tool and Manchester results were disseminated at a final stakeholder workshop in September 2010, during which stakeholders had the opportunity to test the tool and generate scenarios of future temperature risk in real time. The city-scale spatial decision support tool is currently being employed in the SWERVE project to generate temperature risk maps for London. Results from the Newcastle work have been published at one international conference and journal publication. Two peer-reviewed journal papers with SCORCHIO colleagues are currently in preparation and will serve to disseminate the final results and overall outcomes of the building stock classification and city-scale GIS spatial decision support tool.
Sectors Construction,Energy,Environment

URL http://www.ncl.ac.uk/ceg/research/geomatics/geospatialengineering/scorchio/
 
Description The research has been undertaken in close collaboration with industrial and local authority stakeholders. A series of in-depth case studies have been developed working with practicing planners and designers. An exemplar implementation of the city-scale spatial decision support tool for Manchester has been successfully achieved. The final tool and Manchester results were disseminated at a final stakeholder workshop in September 2010, during which stakeholders had the opportunity to test the tool and generate scenarios of future temperature risk in real time. The city-scale spatial decision support tool is currently being employed in the SWERVE project to generate temperature risk maps for London. Results from the Newcastle work have been published at one international conference and journal publication. Two peer-reviewed journal papers with SCORCHIO colleagues are currently in preparation and will serve to disseminate the final results and overall outcomes of the building stock classification and city-scale GIS spatial decision support tool.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Construction,Energy,Environment
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Ordnance Survey 
Organisation Ordnance Survey
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
Start Year 2007