Die Siedlungswasserwirtschaft als System verstehen und in eine nachhaltige Zukunft zu führen charakterisiert die Forschung unserer Abteilung. Neben den traditionellen Fragestellungen zur Siedlungshygiene und zum Gewässerschutz stehen die nachhaltige Nutzung und Bewirtschaftung der Ressourcen im Vordergrund.
Die Umweltchemikerin Barbara F. Günthardt sowie die beiden Umweltingenieure Matthew Moy de Vitry und Marius Neamtu werden für ihre Doktorarbeiten mit der ETH-Medaille ausgezeichnet. Pflanzengifte, Hochwasser in der Stadt und...
Die Umweltchemikerin Barbara F. Günthardt sowie die beiden Umweltingenieure Matthew Moy de Vitry und Marius Neamtu werden für ihre Doktorarbeiten mit der ETH-Medaille ausgezeichnet. Pflanzengifte, Hochwasser in der Stadt und komplizierte Strömungen waren die Themen. Wir gratulieren herzlich!
Hitzeperioden und lokale Starkregen werden mit dem Klimawandel zunehmen. Die traditionelle Siedlungsentwässerung stösst an ihre Grenzen. Mit Konzepten aus blau-grüner Infrastruktur können die Probleme angegangen werden. Gut...
Hitzeperioden und lokale Starkregen werden mit dem Klimawandel zunehmen. Die traditionelle Siedlungsentwässerung stösst an ihre Grenzen. Mit Konzepten aus blau-grüner Infrastruktur können die Probleme angegangen werden. Gut geplante Lösungen bieten gleichzeitig einen Mehrwert für die Biodiversität und die Lebensqualität in den Städten.
A rapid fine-scale approach to modelling urban bioclimatic conditions
Surface characteristics play a vital role in simulations for urban bioclimatic conditions. Changing relationships and distribution patterns of sealed and vegetated surfaces as well as building geometry across different scales in urban environments influence surface temperatures. Cities comprise different urban forms, which, depending on their surface characteristics, enhance the heating process, increasing the emergence of urban heat islands (UHIs). Detecting priority areas to introduce multi-beneficial climate change adaptation measures is set to be a key task for the cities long-term strategies to improve climatic conditions across different urban structures and scales. We introduce a simple and fast spatial modelling approach to carry out fine-scale simulations for land surface temperature (LST), mean radiant temperature (MRT) and Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) in a 2D environment. Capabilities of our modelling approach are demonstrated in evaluating urban thermal comfort in the alpine city of Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol in western Austria. Results show a major contrast between sealed and vegetated surfaces reflected in the distributional patterns and values of LST, MRT and UTCI, correlating with the appearance and frequency of specific surface classes. We found the Sky View Factor to have a substantial impact on calculations for bioclimatic conditions and see high-albedo surfaces decrease LST but increase the apparent temperature (MRT and UTCI values) effecting human thermal comfort. Furthermore, MRT and UTCI are more sensitive to changes in emissivity values, whereas LST is more sensitive to changes in Bowen Ratio values. Application of our modelling approach can be used to identify priority areas and maximise multi-functionality of climate change adaptation measures, to support urban planning processes for heat mitigation and the implementation of policy suggestions to achieve sustainable development goals and other political objectives.
Stormwater management impacts of small urbanising towns: The necessity of investigating the 'devil in the detail'
In many parts of the world, small towns are experiencing high levels of population growth and development. However, there is little understanding of how urban growth in these regional towns will impact urban runoff. We used the case study of Wangaratta, located in South-East Australia, between 2006 and 2016, to investigate land cover changes and their impacts on urban runoff discharge. Detailed spatio-temporal analysis (including neighbourhood composition analysis and supervised classification of aerial imagery) identified that population, land use and land cover changes in Wangaratta, although subtle, were mostly driven by residential growth in the outskirts of the town, where there were large increases in impervious surface area. Overall, the urban growth was minimal. However, in spite of these small changes, a sub-catchment only SWMM model showed that the increase in impervious surface area nevertheless resulted in a statistically significant increase in total runoff across the town. Particularly, this increase was most pronounced for frequent and shorter storms. The analysis of urban development pattern changes coupled with urban hydrological modelling indicated that land cover changes in regional towns, especially when analysed in detail, may result in hydrological changes in the urban region (likely to be exacerbated in coming years by changing climate) and that adaptation efforts will need to adopt a variety of approaches in both existing and growth zones. Our findings highlight the necessity of detailed fine-scale analyses in small towns as even subtle changes will have substantial future implications and robust planning and adaptation decisions are even more important when compared to larger cities due to the greater economic constraints that small towns face and their important relationship with the surrounding hinterlands.
Browne, S.; Lintern, A.; Jamali, B.; Leitão, J. P.; Bach, P. M. (2021) Stormwater management impacts of small urbanising towns: The necessity of investigating the 'devil in the detail', Science of the Total Environment, 757, 143835 (13 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143835, Institutional Repository
Towards a performance-based approach for multifunctional green roofs: an interdisciplinary review
Green roofs have the potential to offer numerous ecosystem services; however, they are rarely designed to achieve them. Instead, design is restricted by perceived structural and maintenance constraints, which consequently diminish the achievable benefits. For green roofs to improve sustainability and resilience of cities, their design should match their promised multi-functional application using performance-based design. The first step towards a comprehensive performance model is to synthesize design recommendations across disciplines to identify synergies and trade-offs in design objectives for multiple benefits. This study discusses design strategies that could alter the energy and water balance in the green roof in order to attenuate urban stormwater, increase building energy performance, mitigate urban heat, and improve the output of solar panels placed on top of green roofs. These benefits are mathematically linked to quantifiable processes (discharge rate, water content, evapotranspiration, sensible heat, net radiation, insulation, and thermal mass), forming the foundation for a performance-based design model. Design recommendations are then summarized for each process, followed by a discussion of synergies, trade-offs, and research needs that arise when green roofs are designed to achieve multiple functions. Selecting vegetation with high leaf area and albedo improves multiple benefits without affecting structural constraints, whereas choosing plants with low stomatal resistance leads to trade-offs between higher evapotranspiration and higher irrigation requirements. Trade-offs in substrate depth and properties including organic matter and moisture are also apparent. Interdisciplinary collaborations are needed to simulate and optimize design parameters based on stakeholder preferences related to co-benefits and constraints.
Efficient two-step Runge-Kutta methods for fluid dynamics simulations
Explicit two-step Runge-Kutta (TSRK) methods offer an efficient alternative to traditional explicit Low-Storage Runge-Kutta (LSRK) schemes for solving the Navier-Stokes equations. A special class of TSRK methods that reduce requirement compared to previous TSRK schemes are derived. Schemes of fourth, fifth and sixth order are implemented and tested. The new schemes are evaluated with two common test cases, a 2D cylinder and a 3D Taylor-Green vortex. The results are compared with classical time discretization strategies. Timings obtained in three different hardware configurations show that the new TSRK methods of order four are 25% faster than LSRK schemes of the same order. Fifth and sixth order TSRK methods are tested with the same 3D test case and the results are compared to LSRK algorithms. Results show TSRK schemes of fifth and sixth order are competitive compared to LSRK methods of the same orders, as LSRK methods are of second order for non linear differential systems.