Open Access

A Web-Based 3D Simulation Platform Aimed at Policy Makers for Estimating the Effects of Urban Heat Islands


The prediction of microclimate effects within an urban context through simulations has previously been done through elaborate software packages that offer accurate results but require extensive domain knowledge and time for the preparation of a model. In day-to-day policymaking, however, these efforts may turn out to be a major limiting factor: Policymakers and city administrators need a quick tool that can predict the effects of urban interventions in a variety of possible scenarios rather than a full-fledged simulation study for a limited set of specific interventions. In our work, we have been seeking to address this mismatch in expectations by using the best of both worlds: We have approximated results from a full-fledged simulation that uses a Cellular Automaton running within a 3D city visualization. Policymakers can edit the urban context by changing cell types (placement of greenery, etc.), thus leading to scenarios that can be compared to the status quo. As a matter of fact, policymakers can use these comparisons to argue for measures that mitigate the effects of heat islands, without requiring extensive domain knowledge or the effort to prepare a simulation model.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Engineering, Introductions and Overviews, other