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urbisphere - coupling dynamic cities and climate

"urbisphere" is a Synergy Grant funded by the European Research Council (ERC) with the goal to develop a new generation of models to forecast the future and the climate of cities.


Growing cities face a number of problems relating to climatic conditions and congestion. Current approaches of how cities are modeled in climate and forecasting systems are static, and hence limited to current state or pre-selected scenarios. Instead, urbisphere will develop forecasts and project urban futures and climates using a dynamic framework that incorporates weather, air quality, differential exposure and vulnerability of people from neighbourhoods to cities. The project will develop and link urban-surface models as well as human exposure and vulnerability models to better forecast exposure, emissions and intervention potential in cities. The system will use a real-time urban observation system to provide targeted data using novel ground and remote-sensing technology.

The Chair of Environmental Meteorology at the University of Freiburg is primarily responsible for developing new and established observation methods and layouts that will provide essential data on the interaction of cities with the climate system. The methods include radiation, boundary-layer and flux measurement systems. These data are used to develop and test abstract yet realistic models to predict how cities change the local and global climate system and how the changed climate system affects people in different cities around the world.

Read more on the → urbisphere project webpage

Researchers and technicians involved



  • German Meteorological Service (DWD)
  • Met Office
  • Météo France
  • TU Berlin
  • Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL)