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Würzburg Climate Experience

Field of work:

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, called the ‘urban heat island’ (UHI) effect, depends on the location within the city, on the building structure and on the degree of sealing vs. greening. Especially cities like Würzburg which are set in a heat basin with densely built-up areas and less urban greenery are heavily affected.

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

Urban green, especially trees, can positively influence the micro-climate of an area. Their crowns can provide shade, and their leaves transpire water and thus lower air temperature. Additionally, the root base of trees can store rainwater.

Based on several sites within the city of Würzburg, this project aims at examining the way the climate of urban sites differs depending upon the degree of tree cover and urban structure, as well as the degree to which urban trees and the microclimate influence one another. In this way, the relevance of trees for urban planning can be demonstrated.

Within the scope of the state horticultural exhibition in 2018, seven climate/tree research stations will be established in the city of Würzburg. Over a period of three years, measuements on the site climate, tree growth and the environmental performance of the trees are to be measured, processed and graphically presented. The aim is to sensitise the public to the topic of urban climate and urban greenery and to enable them to experience applied research live.

Project partners:


Launching date




Funded by

Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection