Considering the Impact of Future Climate Change on the Resilience of a City - Surface Run-Off due to Heavy Storm Events in the City of Wuppertal

Frank Michel; Daniel Steffen; Sascha Schlobinski; Stefan Sander

In: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society REAL CORP 2012. International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society (REAL CORP-2012), 17th, located at GeoMultimedia 2012, May 14-16, Schwechat, Austria, Pages 161-170, keine Angabe, 5/2012.


Environmental events are a big concern when looking at the safety and resilience of a city. This is even more true if climate change scenarios, and thus changed environmental conditions, are taken into account. Within the European FP7 Research Project SUDPLAN (Sustainable Urban Development Planner for Climate Change Adaptation) a Scenario Management System (SMS) is under development. The SMS combines large scale climate change models, downscaled model results and local high resolution simulations with interactive 3-D/4-D visualisations to facilitate the analysis of future climate change effects on city-scale environments. The system will be applied by four european pilot cities which are part of the consortium: Stockholm, Linz, Prague, and Wuppertal. The project adresses the environmental topics air quality (e.g. temperature, emissions, etc.) and rainfall. In the case of rainfall, major concerns are combined sewage overflow (CSO) and surface run-off due to heavy rainfall events. Due to the geographical situation of the german city of Wuppertal located in the steep, narrow, long valley of the Wupper river, the main concern regarding climate change impact is uncontrollable, extremely localized run-off from increased heavy, short rainfall events. The potential damage of public infrastructure and of private property is a major concern to the city managers. The potential needs for investments are huge, considering that the city copes with run-off from 350 kilometers of creeks (over 800 creek sections) and 650 kilometers of drainage channel system. To enhance the public awareness for investments due to future risks related to a changed climate, means to transport complex domain specific results into a clear and easy to understand “language” are needed. In this paper we present the current results of the SUDPLAN project concerning the Wuppertal pilot. We will describe the workflow from the large scale climate model to the 3D/4D visualisation of local high resolution simulation results. We focus on the intuitive and easy to understand presentation of the effects on the resilience and safety of critical public and private infrastructures. We combine widely used GIS features with highly interactive 3D/4D visualisation in order to provide insight into possible future problems caused by heavy rainfall events. This can be used for the analysis and comparison of simulation results from different climate and planning scenarios by domain experts (i.e. climate modellers) as well as endusers (i.e. urban planners). Moreover, the presented results are also suitable to illustrate and convey the necessity of investments even for non-experts (e.g. city administration, property owners, etc.).

Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence