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

Urban Heat Stories

What are Urban Heat Stories?

It will get hotter and hotter in the city over the next few years. The impact of heat can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood. It depends not only on the building density or the degree of sealing in the city, but also on the age and state of health of the people and their immediate living environment.

The Urban Heat Stories research project therefore collects individual heat experiences of vulnerable groups in Vienna. The aim is to make the diverse concerns and demands of city dwellers visible. 

The aim is also to develop a chatbot pilot. It should provide insights into the social dimension of heat at city level. On this basis, recommendations for sustainable urban development in the face of rising temperatures can be expanded to include a social dimension, thus integrating the needs of vulnerable groups into planning in the long term

How does Urban Heat Stories work?

The main cooperation partners are the city's residents. In a two-part workshop, they first map their locations in the public space around their homes. The temperatures of the localized places are investigated using mobile sensors in a joint perceptual and exploratory walk. The measured temperatures are compared with the personal perception of heat. This provides a basis for discussion of the Urban Heat Stories. These stories are the foundation for the development of the new chatbot pilot on heat perception in the city. 

How can I participate in the research?

Starting in September 2023, four workshops with senior citizens as Citizen Scientists have taken place around Quellenplatz (10th district, Vienna). The format is to be continued in spring/summer 2024 in other districts with other target groups. A first chatbot pilot will additionally be launched in winter 2024. 

Upcoming events: 

  • Urban Heat Stories at the Citizen Science Day at the Natural History Museum Vienna: As part of the Citizen Science Day (06.04.2024, NHM Vienna), interested citizens will have the opportunity to learn about the project, share their own stories and measure temperatures with us. We are looking forward to your visit!
  • Citizen Science Award 2024: We are delighted to have been selected as one of eight projects for the Citizen Science Award 2024. Workshops with schools will take place between April and July 2024. Details on how to register at: www.youngscience.at/csa.

If you are interested in conducting a Citizen Science research on heat experiences (e.g. workshop participation, chatbot test) in your neighborhood, we would also be pleased to receive a short initiative mail.

Podcast episode

As part of the episode "The Citizen Science Award 2024 - behind the scenes", Sebastian Harnacker presented the project in the podcast Wissen macht Leute. You can listen to the episode on our blog or on the podcast app of your choice (the episode is in German). You can find all the details here.

What happens with the results?

The findings will provide the basis for recommendations in urban planning and will be incorporated into current Viennese planning projects (e.g. WienNeu+, 10th district). They will also be published on the website of the future.lab Research Center of TU Wien. For participants - as co-researchers - the results will also be made available free of charge as a print edition.

Who is responsible for the project?

The project team consists of researchers from the future.lab Research Center and TU Wien Bibliothek as well as residents as citizen scientists. Urban research does not take place in a laboratory, but together on site. Residents contribute their experiences and interests.

The project is being implemented - as part of the European research project "OPUSH" - in close cooperation with the partner project Heat Chronicles (Cròniques de la Calor) of Open Systems at the Universidad de Barcelona. There is cooperation at local level with the City of Vienna (MA 22, MA 25, GB*), the Vienna Chamber of Labor and the Natural History Museum.

What roles are there in the project?

  • The transdisciplinary project team is made up of the research group of the future.lab Research Center and the TU Wien Bibliothek. The TU Wien Bibliothek can draw on experience in the fields of big data and urban heat, among others.
  • The residents participate as citizen scientists in the development of content for the Chatbot and are central to the collection of data in the form of micro-stories.
  • The Natural History Museum is involved as a local stakeholder with extensive experience with citizen science experiments. 
  • Local project partners are also the municipal departments of the City of Vienna MA 21 and MA 22 (expertise and meteorological background data), the Vienna Chamber of Labour (e.g. social space monitor), OpenKnowledgeMaps (data visualization) and Wunderbyte (chatbot programming).

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Tagged under
  • weather
  • health
  • land use
  • water
  • living together
Read 888 times| Last modified on Friday, 12 April 2024 15:51