Climate-responsive urban edges in Utrecht

Climate-responsive urban edges for Utrecht

2015, tutors: Wiebke Klemm, Sanda Lenzholzer, student: Rick Lensink; IFLA Europe Young Landscape Architects Competition 2015, 3rd price

The challenge was to design locations for climate-responsive urban growth at the city edge, since it appears that urban growth is mainly focused here. Locations for urban growth that are positioned to minimize the negative effects on the city’s climate, and are configured to ensure inhabitants’ thermal comfort in the new expansions and their surrounding neighbourhoods. The thesis started with evaluating methods to determine the city edge and a literature study on existing urban climate knowledge. According to different literature, greenery, wind, water and urban geometry are the key aspects that have different influences on the urban climate. On the basis of these key aspects, a step-by-step analysis was developed and applied to the city edge of Utrecht to position and configure locations for climate-responsive urban growth. In addition, the step-by-step analysis applied to a specific growth location, has determined different design challenges: Implementation, preservation, and strengthening of climate influencing spatial characteristics and elements have a positive effect on the urban climate and the future inhabitants’ thermal comfort. Please find the MSc thesis here.