Resilience of cityscapes


        The resilience of cityscapes against climate change is predominantly determined by the properties of their surfaces and the spatial arrangement of the buildings. These factors induce the occurrence of urban heat islands or flooding. When global radiation reaches a surface it may be reflected (Albedo) or transformed to sensible or latent heat flux. Whereas plants are able to transform the sun energy into biomass, oxygen and air humidity, regular building surfaces (e.g. plaster) emit sensible heat flux. Plants regulate the urban microclimate while conventional surfaces lead to microclimatic extremes and reduce the thermal comfort within cities. Aside from the positive microclimatic effects plants are also able to store water in contrast to sealed regular urban surfaces.