Optimizing Forest Management around Urban Areas for improved Cooling and Air Exchange [funded by HMUKLV]

Project staff:

Prof. Dr. Jörg Bendix
Linda Gruber


Urban areas are especially vulnerable to heat waves which are expected to occur in a higher frequency and intensity due to climate change. As a consequence, climate adaptation in these areas is crucial for the inhabitants’ health and their quality of life.

Adaptation strategies relating to changes inside urban areas, such as the use of high albedo surfaces and an increase in urban vegetation, are very well studied.

In this study the cooling potential of forests surrounding these urban areas is investigated depending on silvicultural factors like tree density, tree species, forest structure, and the ratio of forest to open landscape. A focus is placed on studying the effects of these parameters on cold air drainage.
For this purpose, the 3D thermodynamics version of the micro-scale urban climate model MUKLIMO_3 TD of the German Meteorological Service (DWD) is used to simulate first, the general effects of changes in silvicultural factors on idealized cities and second, the effects these changes could have on a Hessian model region.

To improve the predictive properties of these simulations, forested areas in the model are parametrized in great detail using local high resolution data provided by HessenForst.

This investigation is a part of and kindly funded by the Hessian integrated Climate Protection Programme (IKSP) and a cooperation of HessenForst and LCRS.


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