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Thematic Weekend 4 - 21/11/2020 & 22/11/2020

Cities, energy consumption and urban heat island mitigation

Short descritption

It is well known that urban areas significantly affect local climatic conditions, in particular due to the development of the urban heat island - i.e. higher temperatures inside cities than in rural areas. The alteration of climatic conditions inside cities can have a significant impact on the thermal comfort of the urban population and on building energy consumption and can represent also a serious hazard for the citizens’ health, especially for the most vulnerable sections of the population. The need of optimizing thermal conditions and energy consumption inside cities has prompted, in recent years, the increasing adoption of different mitigation strategies as a primary measure to mitigate the undesirable effects of urbanization, being able to improve resiliency and maintain livable urban areas.

In this lecture, the causes leading to the urban heat island effect will be first introduced, along with several examples of urban heat island studies in different cities. Mitigation strategies aiming at maximizing the citizens’ thermal comfort and minimizing building energy consumption will be then presented, focusing on various rooftop technologies (photovoltaic panels, green roofs and cool roofs) and urban planning measures. Finally, practical examples of the implementation of different mitigation strategies will be shown.

What to expect

  • General overview of the urban heat island effect
  • Examples of urban heat island studies in different cities
  • Introduction on the possible mitigation strategies to improve citizens’ thermal comfort and minimize building energy consumption
  • Examples of the implementation of different mitigation strategies, mainly involving the use of vegetation inside urban areas

The lecture will be given using slides. Students will be invited to participate actively in the lecture, with short Q&A sessions on the case studies presented.

About the teacher
Lorenzo Giovannini - University of Trento (Italy)

Lorenzo Giovannini is assistant professor at the Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering of the University of Trento (Italy). His research activity focuses mainly on the analysis of atmospheric processes typical of mountainous regions and on the evaluation of microclimatic alterations induced by urban areas, by means of both experimental campaigns and numerical meteorological models. He is involved in different research projects, covering several aspects of applied meteorology, such as pollutant dispersion, support to agricultural practices, estimation of renewable energy sources and optimization of building energy consumption. On these topics he is author of several articles published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals.