Urban-Ecological Survey for Small Settlements

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DOI: 10.4236/oje.2014.410049    2,440 Downloads   3,403 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Climate change is not just a global problem. When ecological conditions are altered by people, local climate will also be transformed. This local climate change is particularly pronounced within urban areas. This can, for example, lead to urban heat islands, which can amount to up to 10 K in large cities. In addition to this, there is also an extensive effect on local wind fields, air pollution control as well as on an urban water balance. An area-wide confirmation of this urban climate effect is only possible through extensive and usually expensive empirical surveys or complex modelling. For this reason, studies of the urban climate are mainly carried out in large cities. However, even in small settlements local climate can have a negative impact on humans. In order to plan settlement developments which are suitable for urban climate, local conditions must first be analysed. Currently used methods cannot provide low-cost solutions which deliver sufficient findings with regards to how detailed and current the data are. The approach of gathering urban-climate-relevant indicators locally, even in small settlements, in order to identify possible problem areas, is already providing a starting point for ecological urban development. Many of these indicators only start showing an effect when used in combination with other indicators. In order to record these interdependencies and to obtain detailed and robust primary data for suggested courses of action, two different indicators must be evaluated and then illustrated e.g. in a matrix. This allows for individual sub-areas, which hold potential for a particular climatic phenomenon in settlements, to be easily and effectively visualized, and thus identified.

Cite this paper

Fabisch, M. and Henninger, S. (2014) Urban-Ecological Survey for Small Settlements. Open Journal of Ecology, 4, 591-600. doi: 10.4236/oje.2014.410049.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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