Extreme climate events have considerably increased in recent years. This clearly indicates that climate change is already a reality and its impacts will most probably challenge the quality of life in our cities.
During last 15 years, the frequency and intensity of heatwaves rose in all EU, thus exacerbating other challenges, such as:
- the energy use for cooling with consequent CO2 emissions
- public health directly as well as by increasing the burden of air pollution
- the ability to work resulting in lower productivity
- the possibility to use public spaces thus constraining social life, the durability of infrastructures.
These direct and indirect impacts challenge the economy and quality of life. EU cities are projected to grow from housing nearly 73 % of the population now to more than 80% by 2050. Urban Heat Island (UHI), the phenomenon resulting in the increase of temperature in dense areas of cities in comparison with rural areas, is then exacerbating too.