Measuring and mapping the urban climate | ITC's Earth Observation Site in Enschede, The Netherlands


The Faculty ITC of University of Twente maintains a number of earth observation sites to support research and education. These earth observation sites are part of a global network: the ‘Global Earth Observation System of Systems’ (GEOSS). One of these earth observation sites can be found in Enschede, the Netherlands. In this video Dr Wim Timmermans of ITC’s Water Resources department explains how ITC monitors variables of the urban climate, hydrology and meteorology and why this is important.

The weather and climate in cities are of high importance for the well-being of its citizens, its livability, and environmental quality. This climate is governed by the energy and water balance and determined by the relative contribution of their different components. We measure and monitor these components, like water consumption, heat and CO2 production, and solar radiation, over Enschede and combine this information with remotely sensed observations from satellites, airplanes, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) or drones. These data help us map the urban climate on the long term and yield information on the so-called Urban Heat Island effect (i.e. how much warmer is it in the city and its neighborhoods compared to its surrounding?) and, for example, on local air-circulation patterns.

We use this information to mitigate or adapt measures that touch upon different aspects. Think of health (sleeping quality, air quality, mortality), public space (pressure on parks, drought damage to flora and fauna), livability (labor productivity indoors and outdoors, comfort) and water (water quality, water demand, cooling water availability). In short, we monitor variables of the urban climate, hydrology and meteorology, which are used to calibrate and validate remote sensing measurement techniques.

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