Really Cooling Water Bodies in Cities (REALCOOL)

In many cities climate change calls for adaptation. Urban heat problems will be exacerbated and peak rains will increase. Especially in inner city areas that often form urban heat islands, these climate problems need to be solved.

It was believed that urban water bodies help to ease heat problems there. Recent research shows that this is often not the case. But there are hints that properly designed water environments could be really cooling. We will study which configurations of shading, evaporation and ventilation objects around the water bodies will improve human thermal sensation in cities. We will also test such new water bodies on their visual appeal and their fit with other urban functions in a consortium with other designers, consultants and municipalities. The outcome of this Research Through Design are design prototypes for really cooling urban water bodies to be implemented by urban design professionals.

Sanda Lenzholzer started this project together with J. Kluck (Hogeschool van Amsterdam)