© Verity Harrison
Institution: TU Wien future.lab Research Center & TU Wien Bibliothek
Project lead: Helena Bernhardt
Resselgasse 5/15, 1040 Wien
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Urban Heat Stories

The project

The aim of the research project is to collect personal heat experiences of senior citizens in the neighbourhood around Quellenplatz (10th district Favoriten, Vienna). Older people are considered particularly vulnerable on hot days, so we want to explore the urban climate in their living environment together with them.

Together with senior citizens as citizen scientists, we will look for everyday places in the neighbourhood and categorise them according to their personal perception of temperature. We will then use mobile sensors to measure the actual temperatures at these locations. We will reflect on and interpret the collected data: To what extent do perceived and measured temperatures overlap? 

This is how short heat stories are created. They will serve as the basis for a chatbot. The chatbot is intended to contribute to a systematic survey of the social dimensions of urban heat by enabling it to be used by as broad a population group as possible. In this way, the needs of vulnerable groups in particular will be taken into account in urban planning.

What is the aim of the project?

The city will become hotter and hotter in the coming years. City dwellers can be affected by rising heat in very different ways. For example, because of where they live, their age, their profession or their health. We want to collect individual experiences and make them visible. The citizen science project with senior citizens is a starting point. It should be the basis for joint reflections on social urban development against the background of rising temperatures.

What happens with the results?

The results are used to develop the chatbot pilot. This will then be tested by as many users as possible. We also want to develop recommendations for urban planning based on the findings. They will be included in current development projects (WienNeu+) in the 10th district. 

The results will also be published on the website of the future.lab Research Center of the Vienna University of Technology. For participants - as co-researchers - the results will also be made available free of charge in print form. 

How can I join in the research?

You are older than 50 years? You would like to share with us your experiences with heat in old age?

You have experience with urban heat around Quellenplatz? Or are you interested in urban heat around Quellenplatz?

Then become a citizen scientist and take part in the research cafés near you! 

You can find current info on theproject website.

Research café 1: Monday, September 11, 2023 (14:00 - 17:00)

Pensionist*innenklub Herzgasse, Herzgasse 15-19, 1100 Wien

Together we map hot and cool everyday places around the Quellenplatz. Afterwards, we walk the places with sensors to measure the temperatures there and share our experiences with heat. (Participation in the walk is optional - depending on individual possibilities. Length and route will also be adapted according to weather conditions). 

Research café 2: Thursday, Septembe 14, 2023 (14:00 - 17:00)

Pensionist*innenklub Herzgasse, Herzgasse 15-19, 1100 Wien

Together we will evaluate the temperatures of the walk and compare them to our perceived perception. Finally, we will record your individual experiences with heat at these places in the form of short stories.

Refreshing drinks, fruit, coffee and cake will be provided. No special previous knowledge is required for participation! We ask for pre-registration by sending a short mail to 

to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or by phone call: 01 58801 44032

What is behind the project?

The project team is made up of researchers from the projects "OPUSH" (opush.net) and "Chatbots and Microstories" led by the Vienna University of Technology, as well as residents (Citizen Scientists) from around Quellenplatz. Participation in the project is voluntary. 

This is how a citizen social science project is created: interested people become researchers and experts. Urban research does not take place in a laboratory, but together with local residents. As citizen scientists, you contribute your experiences and interests to the workshops. Together we collect temperature data and experiences with heat. The collected data will be analysed and evaluated together.

The project is led by the future.lab Research Center of TU Wien. There is cooperation with the TU Vienna Library, the City of Vienna (MA 22, MA 25, GB*), the Vienna Chamber of Labour and the Natural History Museum.

The project is part of the research projects "OPUSH" (opush.net) and "Chatbots and Microstories" at TU Wien. The aim of the international research project "OPUSH" (opush.net) is to make knowledge about sustainable development visible and accessible to local communities. Project partners from the four European cities of Barcelona, Delft, Tallinn and Vienna are conducting research together with citizens; libraries and other local cultural institutions play a mediating role. "Chatbots and Microstories" tests an innovative method of data collection that combines personal experience with empirical measurement and will be extended to other parts of the city after successful testing. 

What roles exist in the project?

  • The transdisciplinary project team is formed by the research group of the future.lab Research Center and the TU Wien Library. The TU Vienna Library can draw on experience in the field of big data and urban heat, among other things.
  • The residents around Quellenplatz will participate as citizen scientists in the development of content for the ChatBot and will then be central to the collection of data in the form of microstories.
  • The Natural History Museum will be involved as a local stakeholder with broad experience in citizen science experiments. Local project partners are also the municipal departments of the City of Vienna MA 21 and MA 22 (providing expertise and meteorological background data), the Vienna Chamber of Labour (e.g. social space monitor, decentralised library locations), OpenKnowledgeMaps (data visualisation) and Wunderbyte (digital education).

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!

TU Wien future.lab Research Center
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Tagged under
  • weather
  • health
  • land use
  • water
  • living together
Read 143 times| Last modified on Wednesday, 20 September 2023 10:40