Green spaces and urban geometry are amongst the most important determinants for the urban microclimate. Green infrastructure not only positively contributes to air quality and urban microclimate but also provides other socio-economic benefits. By providing evidence-based data, we aim to increase awareness about impacts and benefits of green infrastructure of both citizens and city stakeholders in Vantaa, Finland. As the northernmost pilot city of the ongoing EU funded project iSCAPE (www.iscapeproject.eu
), Vantaa has warmed by 0.3-0.4 °C per decade over the past few decades, with a projected similar climatic trend also in the future. Although annual averaged concentrations of air pollutants are generally rather low in Vantaa, compared to most of the other iSCAPE pilot cities, street dust episodes form there a recurring problem in springtime. Within iSCAPE, besides utilizing data from permanent weather and air quality stations, we invite and involve citizens of Vantaa to participate in the measurements by given them the so-called SmartCitizenKits (https://smartcitizen.me/). Second, we numerically simulate green infrastructure impacts on urban microclimate. The simulations with the SURFEX model (Masson et al. 2013) are conducted in three steps for a climatologically representative test reference year of Vantaa (Kalamees et al, 2012). Third, we study socio-economic impacts of green infrastructure based on real-life testing results. Further details in the work will be decided by consulting Vantaa city planners and taking into account the Master plan of Vantaa. An important goal is to not only disseminate our research results to citizens and policy makers but also actively engage them in activities to solve air quality issues in Vantaa.
The iSCAPE (Improving Smart Control of Air Pollution in Europe) project is funded through the European Community’s H2020 Programme under the Grant Agreement No. 689954.
Kalamees T., Jylhä K., Tietäväinen H., Jokisalo J., Ilomets S., Hyvönen R., Saku S., (2012), Development of weighting factors for climate variables for selecting the energy reference year according to the EN ISO 15927-4 standard. Energy and Buildings, 47, 53-60. doi: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2011.11.031
Masson, V., Le Moigne, P., Martin, E., Faroux, S., Alias, A., et al. (2013), The SURFEXv7.2 land and ocean surface platform for coupled or offline simulation of earth surface variables and fluxes, Geosci. Model Dev., 6, 929-960, doi:10.5194/gmd-6-929-2013