Biodiversity footprint of the city
50% of people worldwide currently live in cities, and this proportion will continue to grow. Cities are centres of resource consumption, and rely on a growing and increasingly global hinterland to maintain their metabolism. Urban consumption therefore has a massive impact on the environment and biodiversity in not only the immediate surroundings but also in distant regions. The aim of Fridolin Krausmann’s project is to develop methods and models that will provide a solid scientific basis for reducing the impact of cities on global biodiversity .
Heat below the city
As a result of multiple factors – ranging from large-scale sealing and urban civil engineering, to climate change and the use of groundwater for temperature regulation – heat islands are forming under large cities. Christian Griebler and his team are investigating the effects of these temperature changes on the subsurface ecosystem and quality of groundwater. This project explores future applications of near-surface geothermal energy.
Temporary forms of housing are in great demand in urban areas - for example, in a growing city like Vienna. The reasons for this demand are manifold, and primarily affect people who need affordable housing quickly and temporarily. The nature of their need may be planned (e.g. for training) or unforeseen (natural disasters, migration). The project team around Marion Huber-Humer develops scenarios, models and evaluation criteria for temporary housing in cities.
Accurately measuring greenhouse gases
Can Vienna's greenhouse gas emissions be accurately measured? Bradley Matthews and his team are investigating this question in the Vienna Urban Carbon Laboratory (VUCL) project. The goal is to further develop the latest measurement methods and thus provide decision-makers with the information basis required for an improved monitoring system.