MULTICAST PROJECT KICKS OFF

A tool to support pedestrian- and commuter-oriented urban climate planning and design


Nicola Colaninno (Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano) was awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship 2020 for the MultiCAST project: Multiscale Thermal-Related Urban Climate Analysis and Simulation Tool. The project will be funded with more than €250,000 under the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme.

The effects of global warming are particularly pronounced in urban areas where the structural and thermal properties of materials critically influence the climate, making cities generally warmer than their surrounding areas. To counter this phenomenon, known as the urban heat island, city institutions are increasingly promoting pedestrian mobility; however, the effectiveness of these policies is adversely affected by the high temperatures, which encourage citizens not to spend time outdoors.

The objective of the MultiCAST project is to develop a real Decision Support System (DSS) able to provide public authorities with tools to plan and design pedestrian and commuter oriented urban policies based on the analysis of thermal comfort in different urban areas. This is thanks to the development of a toolkit to support the modelling of walking routes to (and from) points of interest such as commuter railway and/or metro stations, or to/from "hot" or "cold" areas.

Through the study of three sample areas (Los Angeles, Amsterdam and Milan), replicable methods will be developed for the automatic acquisition and mapping of accurate and up-to-date urban climate data that will allow the estimation of accessibility in relation to thermal comfort.

The project, which will last 36 months, will be developed by the Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and will involve, in particular, the Laboratorio di Simulazione Urbana Fausto Curti (http://www.labsimurb.polimi.it/) at the Politecnico and the City Form Lab (http://cityform.mit.edu/) at MIT.

There will also be two periods of research at external organisations, the first at Starlab Living Science (https://www.starlab.es/) in Barcelona, a company specialising in Remote Sensing and Neuroscience, and the second at the Department of Sustainable Design Engineering at TU Delft (https://www.tudelft.nl/en/ide/about-ide/departments/sustainable-design-engineering/).

The research team will consist of Nicola Colaninno, as Principal Researcher, Prof. Eugenio Morello, Supervisor, responsible for research and coordination of the Urban Simulation Lab, and Prof. Andres Sevtsuk, Coordinator of the City Form Lab and Supervisor during the research period at MIT. Dr Mirta Rodriguez-Pinilla, Director of the Space Unit at Starlab, and Prof Alessandro Bozzon (TU Delft) will also be involved.