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Project Scope

Climate change and urbanization are two global megatrends that transform human life and directly impact each other. There is a fundamental disconnect between how climate and urban system science analyse and model these processes and phenomena.

urbisphere is a Synergy Project funded by the European Research Council (ERC-SyG) that focuses on understanding, forecasting, and projecting feedbacks between climate change and drivers of urban transformation. It aims to change how the scientific community conceptualises, classifies and predicts the climate system and urban planning in cities. The project is expected to create a deep understanding of socio-economic dynamics and human responses to climate and extreme events as well as urban transformation. urbisphere explores how urbanization, human behaviour and technology changes in cities will impact climate change and how impacts of climate change will influence urban populations and their vulnerability and their adaptive capacity. It will provide new insights into associated risks at present and in the future and it will forecast future urban states and climates - while considering weather, air quality, differential exposure and vulnerability of people - from neighbourhood to city scale. These aspects are explored in different European and global cities, such as London, Stuttgart, Shanghai and Nairobi.

The urbisphere team is led by four Principal Investigators based in Germany (Prof. Jörn Birkmann and Prof. Andreas Christen), Greece (Dr. Nektarios Chrysoulakis) and United Kingdom (Prof. Sue Grimmond) who use their expertise to integrate different computational and observational approaches to create a coupled, dynamic and unified assessment and modelling system to better understand feedbacks between cities and climate change.