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

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Eng

Abstract

Our urban and city areas are becoming increasingly unhealthy, dangerous and uncomfortable to work and live in. These 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. 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.
 
Description Newcastle University
Amount £650,883 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/G061254/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description University of Manchester, The
Amount £500,000 (GBP)
Funding ID UoM Bruntwood 
Organisation University of Manchester 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description University of Manchester, The
Amount £371,604 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/F038178/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start