Climate change also affects urban development: Asphalted city centres quickly overheat. The city of Winterthur is using a smart city project based on Lokstadt to show how this problem can be countered.

The heating of asphalted city centres – so-called heat islands – is a well-known problem in urban development. However, it can be noticeably improved with smart measures. This is demonstrated by the city of Winterthur in cooperation with the spatial planning office Berchtoldkrass Space & Options and the office GEO-NET Umweltconsulting GmbH, which specialises in climate analyses, by means of a computer-assisted climate modelling for the Lokstadt. The current planning status was compared with two climate-optimised scenarios. Thanks to the simulation, it is possible to see how the design of the buildings and open spaces affect the outside temperatures and thus influence the quality of stay in the area. At the same time, it was tested which measures are particularly feasible and effective. The pilot study is part of the Smart City Winterthur programme and was made possible by its innovation loan. It was commissioned by the Office of Urban Development.

Numerous residential units and workplaces will be built on the Lokstadt planning perimeter. In order for the neighbourhood to have a high quality of life later on, planning based on climate aspects makes sense. A climate-adapted and thus heat-tolerant design is possible despite dense construction: bioclimatically effective compensatory measures in Lokstadt include trees, unsealed, light-coloured and greened surfaces and shaded areas. Large green roofs – ideally in combination with shady photovoltaic systems – have a positive effect on the urban climate. In addition to façade greening, water areas and drinking fountains improve the quality of stay.

The evaluation shows: The Lokstadt was already well positioned in terms of urban climate in the original planning in the design of the public space. In order to further optimise the climate, additional tree locations as well as light-coloured, infiltration-capable surfaces are being examined. The technology offers all the prerequisites for optimising the urban design of the future in terms of climate.

Text: Linda von Euw, Bild: Amt für Städtebau Winterthur, zVg.

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