How vulnerable could your city be to climate impacts?

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News Published 04 Sep 2012 Last modified 17 Jul 2017
2 min read
Photo: © Sekkha
Climate change will affect Europe's cities in different ways. To give an overall impression of the challenge for European cities to adapt to climate change, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a series of detailed interactive maps, allowing users to explore data from more than 500 cities across Europe.

Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of river floods and extreme temperature events in many parts of Europe. If heavy rain caused rivers to rise by one metre, which European cities could be most at risk from flooding? Which cities could provide relief during heat waves with large green areas and which city designs could most exacerbate the effect of heat waves? What are the capacities of different European cities to cope with climate change impacts and to adapt to future changes?

The recently published EEA report 'Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe' provides initial answers to these and similar questions. Several maps included in the report are now also made available on the interactive Eye on Earth information service. The interactive maps allow users to explore data from more than 500 cities in Europe and get a quick impression of some of the adaptation challenges in Europe’s cities. For example, the map below shows aspects of vulnerability to heat waves.

Explore the map with more functions in Eye on Earth

Heat wave risk: The interactive map shows three types of information layers: 1. The share of green urban areas that could provide cooling during heat waves. 2. The population density per city which is associated with variables such as the lack of green space, high building mass storing heat and anthropogenic heat production  that can intensify the ‘urban heat island’ effect. 3. Modelled climate change projections on the number of combined tropical nights and hot days for the period 2071 - 2100.

More interactive functions for this map can be found on the Eye on Earth website. Here, users can combine different datasets from the report, for example combining the heat wave map with information showing the share of elderly people who are generally more sensitive to heat. Users can also choose to incorporate datasets made available by other organisations or individuals through Eye on Earth.


The EEA also hosts Climate-ADAPT in cooperation with the European Commission. Climate-ADAPT is the European Union's most advanced platform for sharing data and information on adaptation to climate change.



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