TJ15.4 The World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools, WUDAPT—an International Collaborative Project for Climate Relevant Physical Geography Data for the World's Cities

Wednesday, 13 January 2016: 9:15 AM
Room 255/257 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
J. Ching, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC; and G. Mills, L. See, B. Bechtel, J. Feddema, and A. Hanna
Manuscript (7.0 MB)

Remarkably little is known about the form and function of urban areas, globally, despite the fact that the greater proportion of the world's population resides there. Exacerbation by further population growth and migration to urban centers and their exposure to conditions arising from rapid global climate changes sets up critical needs and challenges for conducting actionable comprehensive environmental modeling and weather and climate forecasting model assessments and applications. Modeling tools while capable of providing urban-focused applications, are limited due to the lack of worldwide data coverage with a common protocol to represent the form and function of urban areas, especially is this true for those in under-developed countries. The design concept and objective of the World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools or WUDAPT ( is both to fill this data gap, acquiring, storing and disseminating climate relevant physical geography form and function data for the world's cities, and to facilitate the means to the requisite model application studies. Being developed as a community resource, it lends itself well to the framework of community-based modeling systems such as WRF and CESM-CLMU, and thus is ideally situated for worldwide public use. For timely and comprehensive coverage to data acquisition, WUDAPT take a pragmatic approach using a variety of techniques to generate urban data into three distinct levels characterized by increasing levels of detail, each collected with distinct methodologies. Level “0” assimilate satellite imagery and the knowledge of local urban experts to generate the form and function data of constituent neighborhood types using a typology based on Local Climate Zones scheme (Stewart and Oke, 2012); Level 1 and 2 capture information at increasingly finer resolutions and details, and using top-down geo-wiki techniques and augmented using crowdsourcing techniques. Implementation of both the data gathering methodology for WUDAPT level “0” as well as its use to run the urbanized WRF has now been successfully demonstrated We are encouraged by the considerable level of interest expressed at the triennial IAUC meeting ( e.g., invitation from the World Meteorological Organization to welcome the inclusion of WUDAPT in developments as part of their newly introduced requirements and protocol for urban data. Future plans include enhancements to the current portal. By design, we anticipate such portal(s) to serve as an efficient and effective means to aid dissemination of the database and towards facilitating high priority applications, including the running of WRF, exploring strategies for assessing urban vulnerability and sustainability to climate change to adaptation strategies in light of extreme climate-induced hazards such as heat stresses.
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