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Master's Thesis in Urban Design "Climate-Sensitive Urban Design in Moderate Climate Zone: Responding to Future Heatwaves. Case Study Berlin Heidestrasse/ Europacity", 2010
 
 
Thesis supervision Dr. Rafael E. Pizarro, Dipl.-Ing. Marco Schmidt. (This is an abstract only. Download the complete Thesis document and Posters here.)
 
           
 
       
           
 

Description

Based on the climate-related problems in – and caused by – cities, the Thesis’ focus was on the physical structure of the built environment and on how this affects the micro- to macroclimate. First, the literature on climatic aspects of cities in cool moderate climate was reviewed and these characteristics described. The typical features were in particular: a) the energy flow and water cycle changes resulting from sealing the surfaces, creating high concentrations of man-made built objects and withdrawing vegetation from urban areas; b) the urban form and geometry affecting the insolation and ventilation conditions in cities; both a) and b) resulting in the Urban Heat Island (UHI).
The findings concluded that it is the way the urban built surfaces and the urban geometry are designed that may alleviate the UHI effect through affecting the natural energy flow. This happens through the transformation of solar radiation, via enhancing the ratio of evaporative surfaces and vegetated areas in cities; and via street orientation and built masses’ proportions that with the help of shading and ventilation provide maximal cooling effects during hot summers.

It was stated that to address the problem of the UHI comprehensively, a set of urban design guidelines should be a connection between the building design, landscape design and urban form. All strategies must be included, and a combination of urban form (considering appropriate urban density, orientation of streets and buildings, building heights, etc. for a desired ratio of incoming radiation and ventilation) with landscape design (means, decentralized rainwater management, rooftop gardens, vegetated ground areas, etc.) is the best to be truly effective.
The Thesis then revised climate-related urban design guidelines and policies for the City of Berlin and for other cities in the cool moderate climate zone; to identify the weakness and strengths related to the recommendations by climatologists and climate-specialized urban designers/planners. Reflecting the findings in the literature review, a set of “Climate-Sensitive Urban Design (CSUD) Guidelines” that addresses the UHI mitigation and helps alleviate the effects of the anticipated heat waves in cool moderate climate cities, was recommended and presented in text and graphics.
To illustrate how such guidelines can be applied, the urban design proposal for Berlin’s Heidestrasse/Europacity had been chosen as a case study to critically examine its alleged CSUD strategies against the findings in this Thesis. As a final step, amendments to the original plan as well as complementing recommendations were suggested.

 
   
   
           
   
           
   
   
   
   
   
   
  Climate-Sensitive Urban Design suggestions for the existing proposal for the Heidestrasse Area (ASTOC/Urban Catalyst/Argus)  
           
           
           
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