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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/E016375/1
Title: The Development of a Local Urban Climate Model and its Application to the Intelligent Development of Cities (LUCID)
Principal Investigator: Davies, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Batty, Professor M Croxford, Dr B Wilkinson, Professor P
Steadman, Professor P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Bartlett Sch of Graduate Studies
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 14 June 2007 Ends: 13 December 2010 Value (£): 608,174
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Building Ops & Management Energy Efficiency
Urban & Land Management
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Construction Healthcare
Energy
Related Grants:
EP/E016308/1 EP/E016448/1
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project will develop world leading methods for calculating local temperature and air quality in the urban environment. The impact on energy use and the consequences for health of a changing climate will then be explored. The implications for urban planning will be considered in detail. Such methods applied to urban areas would contribute greatly to the generation of guidance in planning process and such modelling is seen as essential to estimate and predict the transition from the present unsuitable practices to more sustainable urban communitiesThere is overwhelming consensus that the climate is warming and an increasing recognition that decisions made now need to be informed by how the local climate will change. Current projections for the UK are for longer, hotter summers and wetter, windier winters, with the South-East warming by between 2.5oC and 4 oC by the 2080s. A change of this magnitude, particularly in summer will lead to much increased prevalence of overheating inside buildings. Humidity is also predicted to increase during the summers limiting the ability to cool buildings through natural ventilation. The frequency of summer days when there are very warm temperatures above 30oC will increase and associated urban heat island effects will lead to frequent extreme temperatures especially in large urban areas. Adapting to and ameliorating such dangerous conditions, whose deadly affects have recently been experienced, for instance in Chicago in 1995, in Greece in 2001 and in France in 2003, will require appropriate policies of urban planning, housing and transport. But before these policies can be developed, quantitative tools are required to identify and quantify the effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation strategies.Increased mortality clearly represents an extreme consequence of rising temperatures. However, it is clear that the proportion of the time that people will feel 'uncomfortable' has the potential to increase. This raises the possibility of a large increase in the use of mechanical cooling systems and a consequent rise in energy use, particularly in urban areas. Higher temperatures associated with the urban heat island are expected to make things worse. In particular, one strategy for passive cooling of buildings is through storing heat within the building fabric during the day and cooling through ventilation at night. But this method relies on the night time temperatures being sufficiently low. The urban heat island is typically most pronounced at night, and so it is important to know whether or not this method remains viable. Buildings both respond to and contribute to the local microclimate. Effective building design requires a knowledge of, and ways of dealing with, this microclimate. What is the way ahead? Currently, methods exist to estimate the broad magnitude of excess temperatures in urban areas and there have been some measurement campaigns. However, there are no established practical methods or tools for assessing the impact of local planning decisions (land use, building-layout orientation and design, size of open spaces or parks) on the fine details of the local climate. This project then will develop and test state-of-the-art methods for calculating local climate and air quality in the urban environment. The impact on the internal built environment, energy use and the consequences for health will then be explored. The implications for urban planning will be considered in detail.This proposal brings together a new consortium of meteorologists, building scientists, urban modellers, planners, urban and building designers and epidemiologists to research how cities can adapt to a changing climate. The proposal effectively unites two consortia / model developers and model users / in a most coherent manner.
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