As part of the planning of the thermographic campaign for the widespread measurement and monitoring of Bologna’s urban heat island, the Bologna Living Lab organised a first event to measure the city’s temperature using a combination of high-precision instruments and low-cost devices suitable for citizen science.

The first category includes two ARPAE control units positioned in two strategic points in the eastern sector of the city and two professional thermal cameras. These instruments enable a precise and extremely accurate measurement of the temperature of the environment and surrounding buildings.

In the second category are the Meteotrackers, small and agile devices that allow real-time and continuous measurement of the environmental temperature during a bicycle or car ride; connected to phone apps, they display data instantaneously and allow instant monitoring. These were installed on five bicycles that took various routes in the historic centre, allowing extensive mapping of the heart of the city; at the same time, they were also mounted on two cars that instead took extra-urban routes, collecting data in the first suburbs of Bologna.

The combination of these data allows an extensive characterisation of the thermal configuration of the city and is preparatory to an extensive campaign to be held in the summer months. A selected number of university students were involved in the activity.

By Francesco Barbano, Erika Brattich, Carlo Cintolesi, University of Bologna (UNIBO)