Jonas Hess, Adrian Meister, Valentin Melnikov, Kay W. Axhausen
How far will you walk when it gets hot?
The global climate is warming at a rapid pace, and cities around the globe are confronted with increasing temperatures. In this work, we study how the future climate will affect urban walkability in Zurich by modeling the thermoregulatory functions of our bodies.
To do so, we first analyze the impact of the current microclimate in Zurich on the route choice of pedestrians. Second, we develop a tool that can calculate comfortable walking distances from any given point in the city, while explicitly accounting for the outdoor thermal comfort (OTC). The tool is applied to the current climate and future climate scenarios. The results show that in the future, pedestrian’s OTC in Zurich will be severely decreased. Further, the tool can detect where there is potential for and, through its accessibility approach, quantify improvements to the built environment citywide.
(Working Paper IVT 2021)