9.1 The WUDAPT Project: Status of Database and Portal Tools

Thursday, 26 January 2017: 3:30 PM
Conference Center: Tahoma 2 (Washington State Convention Center )
Gerald Mills, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland; and B. Bechtel, M. Foley, J. Ching, L. See, J. Feddema, and M. Tamminga
Manuscript (1.1 MB)

We know very little about the make-up of most cities on the planet, despite the facts that they are: major drivers of climate changes at all scales; at particular risk of projected near-term climate changes; and are home to most of humanity. The dearth of information on cities globally is a major impediment to the development of an urban climate science that can inform climate mitigation and adaptation strategies at urban scales. Currently, available urban data sets vary widely in: (a) content, spatial coverage, level of detail, scale, features, and characteristics; (b) their type and sources of inputs, and; (c) degree of availability and accessibility.  For some cities, the internal make-up of some cities may be available as maps of land-cover and/or land-use but these use varying classification systems and map scales. What is needed is a global database that contains consistent information on cities at a detail suitable and readily accessible for a wide range of applications and for different types of models and analyses. This is the goal of the World Urban Database and Access Portal Tool (WUDAPT) project.

WUDAPT is an international collaborative project for the acquisition, storage and dissemination of climate relevant data on the physical geographies of cities worldwide. The project takes a hierarchal approach to data gathering. At the coarsest level (level 0), cities are categorised into Local Climate Zones (LCZ), which describe urban landscapes at the local scale (>1km2) based on a physically-based system that can be applied universally. Each LCZ type is associated with a series of descriptors (e.g. impervious surface cover, roof area, vegetative cover, typical building height and sky view factor), that link the LCZ type with local climate impacts. These descriptors have a range of values that represents the internal variation within a given LCZ type. The WUDAPT level 0 product consists of a map of LCZs (see Figure 1 for Sao Paolo) that has been created using available Landsat 8 data, guidance by local experts that know the city and freely available geographic software. Each city product is accompanied by metadata that describes the origin of the imagery, the contribution of experts and a measure of robustness so that the user can evaluate its quality. These maps provide a sampling frame for more detailed data gathering that will gather information on other descriptors (such as building types or energy systems) and assign more precise values to existing descriptors. The data is stored on a geographically organized database and is accessed via a portal, which provides tools to extract data in different formats.

To this point in its development WUDAPT level 0 data has been gathered for more than 100 cities across all continents providing a valuable set of data for climate projects. In this paper we will report on the status of the database (that is its city content) and available portal tools.

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