Adaptation toolbox launched in Finland

The planner’s toolbox for climate-proof city provides a collection of tools, best practices and reports about the impacts of climate change and how to implement the adaptation activities. It is designated for urban planners and city officials, but it also provides vital information for land owners, city residents and companies operating in fields of construction and green building. The toolbox includes themes like storm water management, green infrastructure, and urban heat islands. The toolbox was created as part of Climate-Proof City (ILKKA) – Tools for Planning project.

Airborne imaging detects heat leakages

Temperatures at the city of Turku have been widely measured since the year 2001 and the urban heat islands have been recognized in the city area. In addition to measuring the temperatures, heat islands can also be researched by performing airborne hyperspectral imaging. In the ILKKA project the Turku area was scanned with hyperspectral sensor AisaOWL. The survey was conducted in the nighttime to minimize the effect of the sun and to guarantee steady weather conditions.

The imaging resulted a temperature map of the area, which shows the most obvious sources of heat leakages, such as ventilation vents, electrical sub-stations and glass ceilings. The main aim was to study the suitability of the methodology and airborne data, as it is a relatively new method in urban heat island analyses. However, airborne data could be used for example to identify possible heat leakages from buildings.

Forests, fields and green areas are cities’ carbon sinks

The carbon balance review of municipalities was also conducted as part of the ILKKA project. In the study the carbon reservoirs of the forests, fields and parks of the cities of Helsinki, Lahti, Turku, Vantaa and Espoo and their changes during a specific year were calculated. 

The carbon reservoirs of a city’s vegetation areas are larger the more the area has forests, fields and other green areas, such as constructed parks, in this order. The differences between cities, concerning the size of carbon reservoirs in the tree stands and soil, are due to the different forms of land use in the cities. Sustainable community planning could increase the amount of carbon sinks and decrease the greenhouse gas emissions of land use.

In order to conserve or increase the carbon reservoirs of an area, attention must be paid at the conservation of existing forests, the conservation of cultivated fields, maximising the amount of vegetation and minimising the amount of constructed or surfaced areas.  

See more: The planner’s toolbox for climate-proof city