Map by – Measuring sites in the city area

Würzburg Climate Experience: Measuring locations in the urban space.

KEW – Würzburg Climate Experience

Project description

Cities are characterized by a specific climate compared to their rural surroundings. Particularly, on hot days, the temperature in a city can rise tremendously compared to its vicinity. This effect, the ‘urban heat island effect’ (UHI) depends on the position within the city, on the building structure and on the degree of sealing respectively the degree of greening. Especially cities - like Würzburg - which are set in a heat basin with densely built-up areas and less urban green, are heavily affected.

The research site Würzburg is located in Lower Franconia, a region which will severely suffer from climate change with more heat waves and drought periods. In future the number of heat days and tropical nights with temperatures > 20°C will increase sharply in city centers. Subsequently, life quality for humans will decrease severely.

Urban green, especially trees, can influence the micro-climate of a city in a positive way. Their crowns can spend shade, their leaves transpire water and thus lower air temperature. In the rooting space of trees rainfall water can be stored.

Based on several sites within the city of Würzburg this project aims at uncovering in which way the climate of urban sites differ depending on urban greening (trees) and how urban trees change the climate of an urban site and vice versa. In this way, the relevance of trees for urban planning can be derived.

Within the scope of the national horticultural exhibition in 2018 climate/tree research stations will be established. For seven research stations values of the site climate, of tree growth and of the ecosystem services of trees will continuously be measured, processed and graphically presented over a period of three years. Thus, public awareness of the topic ‘urban climate and urban green’ could be raised and applied science could be experienced live around the clock.

In detail the following topics will be addressed:

Local impacts of climate change

  • How will the climate of the grater area of Würzburg change?
  • How do current extreme weather events differ from that of past centuries?
  • Which urban site type is most affected by climate changes?

Site-climate and urban green

  • Which climate characteristics are obvious in the urban area of Würzburg at small scale?
  • Which influence do different urban site types have on the site climate?
  • Which influence do urban trees have on the site climate?

Ecosystem services of urban trees

  • Which influence has the specific site climate on the growth and transpiration of urban trees?
  • Do species-specific differences occur?
  • Which site-climatic variable influences growth and transpiration of urban trees the most?
  • Which consequences arise under future climate conditions?
  • How much can urban trees contribute to climate protection (CO2-storage, cooling of buildings) and climate adaption (thermal convenience outdoor, rainwater management)?

Relevance for urban planning

  • For which urban site type are trees most suitable for climate adaption?
  • What influence does the site climate and the micro-climate of urban trees have on the living quality in urban areas?
  • Which studied urban tree species is most suitable for small scale climate regulation in cities?

Sensitization of the public

  • How can the performance of urban trees and the small scale characteristics of the urban climate be mediated to the broad public?
  • How can the relevance of urban trees for the urban climate and the future urban planning be conveyed to a broad public?
  • How can chances and risks of climate change implications be transferred to the broad public?



  • 2017-05-01 - 2020-04-30


Contact: Climate Experience Würzburg

Technical University of Munich
Prof. Dr. Thomas Rötzer
Room: (Green Finger, 2nd Floor)
Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2
D-85354 Freising


Tel.: +49 (0) 8161-71-4667
Fax: +49 (0) 8161-71-4721

Project partners

City administration Würzburg –
Bavarian State Institute for Viticulture and Horticulture (LWG) –
ZAE Bayern / Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research Ltd - Scientific Divisions –
Deutscher Wetterdienst / German Meteorological Service –