VRVis researches environmental modeling with new COMET module
VRVis increases climate resilience of cities with new basic research project on coupled modeling of microclimate, hydrology and air pollution.
The Vienna COMET Center VRVis Center for Virtual Reality and Visualization is expanding its research portfolio with a COMET module on environmental simulation called "ClimaSens - Climate-sensitive Adaptive Planning for Shaping Resilient Cities". To strengthen the resilience of cities, a holistic urban environmental model is being developed in which hydrology, air pollution and microclimate processes are coupled. The scientific partners involved in the project are the Faculty of Computer Science at TU Wien, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) and the University of Bonn, as well as the corporate partners greenpass GmbH, Henning Larsen Architects, Rosinak & Partner ZT GmbH and Wien 3420 aspern Development AG.
In a four-year basic research project, the VRVis team is exploring new ways to develop a highly accurate urban climate model. Previous models have either been greatly simplified and only reduced to essential physical processes, or require long computing times on high-performance computers. As a result, many of the current climate models are not suitable for rapid decision-making in the field of urban climate change adaptation or the planning of blue-green infrastructure. This is precisely where the ClimaSens research team comes in, developing a new holistic simulation model that combines environmental processes from three key areas for urban areas: Microclimate (ground-level air layers up to 2 m), hydrology (heavy rainfall, flash floods) and air pollution (pollutant load and deposition). Artificial intelligence that respects physical laws is also being developed and used for accelerated simulation and forecasting.
Visual computing and simulation strengthens human-centered decisions
The interactive simulation and real-time visualization make the model suitable to be an efficient tool for planning nature-based solutions in urban areas and corresponding policy decisions. The geodata provided by Vienna 3420 from aspern Seestadt - the largest case study within the module - supports the design of interactive workflows for climate-sensitive urban planning and the continuous evaluation of developed prototypes. Another focus is on making the model simulations accessible to a broader public and thus establishing citizen science and citizen participation more strongly. The COMET module ClimaSens makes an important contribution to anchoring climate communication and technological data competence more firmly in the population. ClimaSens will start in January 2024 and run until December 2027.
ClimaSens is funded by the Ministry of Climate Protection (BMK), the Ministry of Labor and Economic Affairs (BMAW) and the City of Vienna. The funding program is managed by the FFG.