Green and Resilient City - Management and planning tools for a climate-sensitive urban development

The aim of the project was to provide a "proof of concept" of a control loop and tool set for the management, optimization and evaluation of green and climate-sensitive urban (district) planning- The tool set consist of urban and open space planning instruments as well as climate simulations at different scale levels.

Short Description

The high degree of sealing and the enormous agglomeration of energy-storing materials such as asphalt and concrete with the simultaneous lack of green and blue infrastructures are the main reasons for the emergence of urban heat islands. The air temperature in cities also depends heavily on the building geometry, the thermal properties of the buildings, the radiation properties of the surfaces and the anthropogenic heat emissions.

The associated urban heat island effect (UHI effect) is characterized by the air temperature difference between the warmer city and its cooler surroundings. Due to the strong warming during the day and the limited cooling at night, the cities become significantly warmer compared to the surrounding area – this difference can be several Kelvin.

Proof of concept of a control loop

The central goal of the research project "" (GRC) is derived from these challenges: a proof of concept of a control loop and tool sets for the control, optimization and evaluation of green and climate-sensitive urban (district) planning consisting of

  1. a green and open space factor (GFF) as an urban development tool and instrument for the control and planning of green infrastructure,
  2. the GREENPASS as a spatially and temporally differentiated evaluation and optimization instrument based on standardized quantitative key performance indicators for the microclimate effects of green infrastructure on parcels and districts level,
  3. the MUKLIMO_3 urban climate model for the microclimatic and urban impact at the city level and
  4. COSMO-CLM as a regional climate simulation model.

In an inter- and transdisciplinary, collaborative approach, the research team developed a new type of tool set that demonstrates its feasibility in a proof of concept. The feasibility was checked on the basis of field tests as well as extensive stakeholder involvement.

Harmonization of instruments

The various input parameters of the individual instruments (GFF, GREENPASS, MUKLIMO_3 and COSMO-CLM), which are used on different planning and climatic scale levels, were compared, adapted and coordinated with the planning scale levels relevant for urban development. In order to combine different climate simulation instruments in a tool set, they must provide similar outputs when the input parameters change (e.g. through greening scenarios). That is why the focus of the project is on the coordination of various scale models by analyzing data interfaces, harmonizing input parameters and defining the same reference periods in order to check the possible applicability of a multi-scale tool set. The aim was to find out whether various climate simulation instruments that were previously used and validated independently could be combined into a multi-scale tool set in order to support future planning as an overall instrument.

Examination of the feasibility based on field tests and in cooperation with city administrations
To test and evaluate the possible uses of the tool set, it was tried out based on two Viennese case studies: the urban development area "aspern - Die Seestadt Wiens" and an urban renewal area with an existing settlement structure in Innerfavoriten in Vienna's 10th district. These two case studies enable use in real locations. In order to support the transfer of research into everyday planning, extensive stakeholder participation was carried out in addition to the field test approach.
By integrating the planning departments of the City of Vienna, on the one hand, the use of the instruments and the tool set as well as the associated benefits for the city and on the other hand, the possibility of anchoring them in existing planning instruments and laws were discussed.

In addition, in the course of an exchange platform with other cities, the need and the transferability to other cities were discussed.

Application of the tool set to case studies

For the case study of the urban development of the "Lakeside Terraces" Quarter ("Seeterrassen") in "aspern - Die Seestadt Wiens", a procedure was developed which was intended to support the project owner and jury of the international competition in selecting the winning design.

Both the GREENPASS pre-certification and the green and open space factor were used. Corresponding instructions for action and basic information on climate-resilient urban, green and open space planning were enclosed with the tender documents.

The selected winning design was analyzed based on the GREENPASS results in the course of a joint workshop between the project owner, planners and the GRC project team, and optimization measures were decided. The optimized design was analyzed and evaluated again using the tools. The results showed a significant improvement in climate resilience and the supply of green spaces. The design principles secured with the help of the GRC tools were adopted in the guidelines for the further development of the "Lakeside Terraces" Quarter.

An area of Vienna's 10th district was selected for the assessment and control of climate change adaptation in the build-up city. Therefore, the entire GRC tool set was used and the individual instruments were harmonized.

Control of climate-sensitive urban planning and development with the GRC tool set
With the project "", the first multi-scale urban planning tool set for green and climate-sensitive urban (district) planning was successfully developed as part of a proof of concept, and the basic feasibility was demonstrated.

Project Partners

Project management

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna; Institute of Landscape Planning

Project or cooperation partners

  • Green4Cities GmbH
  • ZAMG - Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik
  • AIT - Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
  • Wien3420 Aspern Development AG
  • Municipal Department 22 - Environmental Protection
  • Institute of Landscape Development, Recreation and Conservation Planning (BOKU ILEN)

Contact Address

Assoc.Prof. DI Dr. Doris Damyanovic
Peter Jordan Straße 65
A-1180 Vienna
Tel.: +43 (1) 47654-85415