Inner-city test ground for a sustainable living environment

Location

Main location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Environmental areas addressed

Climate Action, Extreme Events, Energy Consumption 

About

Warm episodes such as heat waves increase the risk of developing heat-related illnesses, like heat strokes. Due to urbanization and climate change, the number of people exposed to extreme heat grows. Next to elderly people and young children, other groups get more vulnerable as well.

During periods of extreme heat, people often find shelter in their own homes. Therefore, it is important to investigate how urbanization and climate change affect summertime indoor atmospheric parameters. These parameters, such as urban thermal comfort and CO2-levels, influence citizen’s health.

To get more insights in this situation, the I-CHANGE team from the Wageningen University, Meteorology and Air Quality Section together with the Amsterdam Institute of Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) will set up a Living Lab with local communities in Amsterdam.

We will explain the differences in indoor temperatures between residences by factors related to neighborhood design, building architecture and residents’ behavior. Moreover, we will collaborate with existing initiatives and engage with citizens into finding climate adaptation interventions together needed to make cities healthy places to live. The measurement network of the living lab adds on to our already operational network of 24 outdoor weather stations across Amsterdam. You can find more information over here. The AAMS is a network of 24 weather stations measuring temperature, humidity and wind speed. Moreover, it contains a scintillometer and a eddy covariance flux tower which measures turbulent fluxes of heat, humidity, CO2 and methane. During occasional Intensive Observations Periods radio sounding were launched, a sodar was installed and traverse tri-cycle observations of human thermal comfort were performed.

Have look at this video about one of our field campaigns at the Dam in Amsterdam.

Monitoring activities

In this Living Lab, the research team will monitor indoor parameters, including temperature, humidity and CO2-concentrations. Citizens will join a network of about 100 ‘citizen scientists’ that participate within the project. With the temperature measurements and other collected data, the team can explain the correlation between indoor and outdoor temperatures and builds on their past research.
Citizens will get a Netatmo weather station in their homes, consisting of two small modules. Measurements are being made visible through an app and residents will have access to the following features:

  • An easy-to-read overview of factors being measured, such as indoor temperature, humidity, CO2-concentrations and sound volume. These variables will be measured every 5 minutes.
  • Insight in all previous measurements
  • Access to the Netatmo Weather Map in which public weather stations from all around the world have been made visible.

Background

When looking at Amsterdam, the main effects of climate change are the increase in frequency of urban heat load, extreme precipitation and droughts. This highly affects power demand and production. According to the KNMI’14 climate scenario’s (Klein Tank, Beersma et al. 2014), the number of summer days (Tmax ≥ 25 °C) in the Netherlands will increase from on average of 25 days in the current climate to 50 ±15 days in 2085 (de Nijs, Bosch et al. 2019).

Heatwaves will increase in frequency and duration and tropical days (Tmax ≥ 30 °C) and hot nights will also become more frequent. The warmer and longer these warm and humid episodes are, the more negatively it impacts human thermal comfort and thus on human health, wellbeing and labour productivity.

Certain groups are more vulnerable to heat-related illness and death, such as the elderly, children, people with chronic health disorders and people with lower incomes (Keith and Meerow 2022). Therefore, our Amsterdam living lab focuses on urban heat and will try to explain and map it. These results can be used, for example, by urban designers and planners to build more healthy cities. Also, from the measurements we can give advices to citizens and help them to keep cool during heatwaves.

What can you expect when participating?

  • You can follow live measurements of indoor variables via the weather station’s app
  • Every couple of months you will receive a newsletter to keep you up-to-date
  • There will be workshops organized for you to join about twice a year

We only ask of you to fill out a survey every once in a while.

Figure Description: this weather map does not show all weather stations of Netatmo, when using the map and zooming in more weather stations will be made visible.

Figure description: More heat stress due to warm nights indoors. All observational data from a home in Losser.

How to participate?

Are you interested in becoming part of our living lab? 
Have a look at our flyer and contact us via email

For more information, please scan the QR code or click on this link.

Also, if you would like to become a stakeholder or partner in our research, please contact us via email.

More information

Contact

  • Esther Peerlings, Wageningen University & Research
  • Gert-Jan Steeneveld, Wageningen University & Research
  • Hans Roeland Poolman, AMS Institute

Email

News

Read more about the ongoing activities of the Amsterdam Living Lab: CLICK HERE

Contact

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101037193.