At the end of July and the beginning of August, measurements were carried out in Middelburg (NL) with three Kestrel meters and an infrared camera. These measurements took place within the framework of the European research project Cool Towns. This project focuses on countering the negative effects of climate change. With these measurements we try to find an answer to the prevention or limitation of heat stress in the (inner) city. The results of the measurements were sent to the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (NL) and are analyzed there. The results are also used in another project, Citizen Participation in Climate Adaptation.
Citizen Participation in Climate Adaptation Research
Students from HZ University of Applied Siences have used the Cool Towns Kestrel meters for the Citizen Participation in Climate Adaptation study. In this practice-oriented research project, researchers from four universities of applied sciences are monitoring heat through a citizen science project and investigating how residents can be involved in the necessary adaptations in the neighborhood. This is also done in some parts of the municipality of Middelburg. The results of the research are used for the Cool Towns project, which aims to make cities cooler. The outcome of the Citizen Participation in Climate Adaptation research project is also important for this.
The monitoring consists of measurements with weather stations, bicycle sensors, handheld meters and indoor temperature sensors. In addition, the perception of residents of these neighborhoods is mapped, so we gain a better understanding of the impact of heat on people. The research from the Hogeschool Zeeland (NL) is carried out in ten neighborhoods in Middelburg, Vlissingen, Rotterdam, Leeuwarden and Groningen. The knowledge developed is used for new insights and methods on how municipalities and residents can work together to make neighborhoods “climate-proof”.
Jasper van den Heuvel is a researcher / lecturer at the Hogeschool Zeeland in Vlissingen and is involved in the research. He wrote an article about this. Together with nine students, he set to work in September 2020 to further develop a number of sub-topics together with the researchers involved:
– Analysis of measurements in the context of heat stress in the neighborhood and homes;
– Video interviews with residents about considerations regarding their garden;
– Possible solutions in the neighborhood;The data is processed in a platform to gain insight into the perceived temperature in the various neighborhoods.
Wind chill is a better indicator
The perceived temperature is a better indicator to chart the effects of heat on people’s well-being. In warm periods, a higher air temperature, lower wind speed, higher humidity and higher radiation contribute to a higher wind chill. During the day, the wind chill in the city is mainly determined by sun and shade, along with wind speed. After sunset the air temperature has a greater influence and the thermal comfort is largely determined by factors that influence the air temperature. Just like the air temperature, the PET scale for wind chill has a temperature scale in degrees Celsius. The PET is by definition equal to how the air temperature is felt indoors where there are no radiation and wind influences.

Monitoring results show that PET wind chill temperatures in various cities reach the three highest physiological stress levels (moderate, major and extreme heat stress) on several days. In the project, the PET wind chill temperature is calculated in real time from the weather data provided by the weather stations and made accessible to a website.

Which temperatures occurred indoors in residents during the summer and what effects this had on well-being is currently being analyzed from temperature measurements within and completed questionnaires. During the summer, measurements were taken in about 100 different homes and research was conducted into the experience via questionnaires. This has also taken place in the municipality of Middelburg. These measurements and questionnaires are currently being analyzed. The idea is that these types of measurements and analyzes can provide professionals with insight into where and when the risks of heat stress can occur and thus better enable them to communicate about this with residents and to discuss a climate-proof neighborhood.

The Citizen Participation in Climate Adaptation project is a collaboration between four universities of applied sciences: HZ University of Applied Sciences, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences, Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen, the five municipalities of Vlissingen, Middelburg, Rotterdam, Leeuwarden, Groningen and two water boards Wetterskip Fryslân and Waterschap Noorderzijlvest. The project is made possible by a RAAK Public subsidy from the National Governing Body for Practice-oriented Research SIA.

Thanks to Jasper van den Heuvel