The ACCLIMAT research project aims to study urban development, urban micro-climate, and climate change process interactions. A numerical modelling framework will be used to couple physical models and socio-economics urban models, which will be driven by local climate change and socio-economic scenarios, including macro-economics, land-use, building materials, technologic and transportation assumptions.
City adaptation to climate change will be explored, by identifying socio-economic leverages that drive urban expansion processes, and simulating impacts of interaction between urban expansion and climate change, in terms of urban micro-climate, energy consumption, CO2 emissions, ground soil moisture, and resident comfort. Scientific evaluation of these impacts will be based on a multi criteria indicators system.
The study will consider the XXIst century time scale, taking into account urban structure modification inertia, and climate scenarios from the GIEC 4th report which states that global effects will be significant from 2070. “Urban system” complexity and specific long term time scale will be addressed by modelling climate and urban processes and their interactions (i.e. city-atmosphere exchanges, urban expansion and urban micro-climat, expansion and spatial organisation, urban morphology and energy consumption), as well as developing new methods (downscaling, data bases and code coupling).
These models and methods, intended to be applied to the Toulouse urban area within this project, will also be suitable for application to other major European cities. The modelling framework, while versatile and modular, is also intended to be extended to include models of urban hydrology or transportation. This progressive integrated numerical modelling tool will then open new interdisciplinary research areas on sustainable cities.