Heat maps for smart cities

Ongoing climate change leads to heat accumulation especially in cities. Therefore, cities are more exposed to climate change than the surrounding rural areas. This leads to an increasing number of tropical nights and heat days in cities and heat wave will occur more often and longer in the future, leading to an unknown amount of economic damage and endanger the life and health of the cities’ populations.

The urban heat island effect is a typical phenomenon of the climate of a city and is characterized by an air temperature difference between the heat-exposed city center and the cooler rural areas. The largest air temperature difference typically occurs during night and can be (depending on the city) up to 10 degrees. Many site-specific locations inside the city center are particularly exposed to heat, so-called hotspots. These hotspots are typically regions with densely built areas, street canyons and sealed surfaces at which heat could be stored efficiently.

Based on satellite images, measured, and modelled air temperature data in the city and surrounding areas, so-called “heat maps” are calculated with a horizontal resolution of 10 x 10 m. This heat maps can be used as an urban planning tool, to site-specific plan mitigation measures to reduce the urban heat island effect. The reduction of the urban heat island effect by mitigation measures (desealing, greening, watering and more) can only be cost-effective implemented, if heat accumulation of site-specific locations is well known with. Therefore, heat maps are an important decision-making tool for city planners.

The first map shows the urban heat island intensity exemplarily for the city Zurich (CH) in a horizontal resolution of 10 x 10 m. Areas in red indicate so-called hot spots, whereas blue areas represent cooler areas.

The second map shows the local climate zone (LCZ) exemplarily for the city Zurich (CH) based on scientific approaches.
LCZs are used to classify surface types of a city that affect the local climate differently. 10 LCZ types (“1- 10”) describe built-up areas in terms of building types and spatial arrangements, materials, human activities, plants, ground surface properties and more. Further 7 types (“A – G”) describe land cover in terms of plant cover and ground surface properties.

The meteoblue “heat maps” can be ordered for any city or smaller towns in the world and shows the urban heat island in simple maps, tables, and raw data. It includes the following elements:

  • Horizontal resolution of 10 x 10 m
  • Urban and rural areas are covered in the pre-defined city domain
  • Heat maps are calculated for day/night and summer/winter situations
  • Map of local climate zones and analysis of temperature differences for each LCZ
  • Data formatted as maps, plots and raw data in CSV and NetCDF format

To obtain your own heat map for your city, please contact support@meteoblue.com. We will send you an individual offer within 3 working days.