Project title: Is climate change reversible by intelligent urban regeneration? Historical data analysis and the impact of urban regeneration policies in Oradea.
Team: Green Trust
2018-2019 EduTrust SRL Oradea Romania 10 Student’s age: 12-13, 14-15
Summary of the project
Cities growth and transformation is a very important topic in our times. By the year 2020, approximately 80% of Europeans will be living in cities or other built-up areas. These changes affect the weather and the climate. Our project aimed to investigate and report the impact of the large-scale transformations our city has overgone in the last years and to determine the influence of these transformations on the weather and the climate in our city, Oradea. Urban heat islands are a reality nowadays, houses or roads are sealing the soil and this changes the availability of groundwater. Increased traffic is polluting the air, which also has effects on the soil and rivers. We wanted to investigate how all these factors influenced the climate in Oradea. For this, we also looked at the following climate parameters: the mean monthly temperatures of our region for the last years, and the monthly amount of rain at our region for the last years. We tried to correlate the data from the past was with images from EO Browser. Unfortunately, satellite images for our region are available only since 2015. Our city was selected as the greenest city in Romania in 2011, and at that time the average green surface per citizen was 24 square meters, 1 meter below the minimum required by EU. The city has started a large urban regeneration since then and we wanted to see if we this is sustained by data and satellite images.
Our study showed that the climate in our region changed in the same way as it changed in the larger part of the country, but the vegetation was not affected seriously. We saw small differences in the vegetation of the city area using the NDVI images from the Sentinel 2A satellite. We performed long term comparisons for temperature and precipitation data using statistical tools. Our analysis suggests that the annual mean temperature in Oradea has an increasing trend while freezing days count is trending down. Regarding the precipitation data, the number of rainy days is in a decreasing trend, but the annual amount of rainfall is not, quite the opposite, it is on an increasing trend, summer storms getting more and more violent. Despite all this, the climate in Oradea is not changing with the same pace as other parts of our country and we can see that the efforts made for urban regeneration are starting to pay off.
Actions to help lessen the problem
Our activities included, in the beginning, data collection. Long term data were needed and we get our data from the local meteorological station and from the internet (www.theclimatedatafactory.com). The data was then processing and graphically visualized. Satellite images were obtained from EO Browser and we started to analyze them detect variations in these images and correlate them with our data. Our city is going through a large-scale infrastructure development phase right now, main parts of the historical center being reconstructed, but all these developments have a large part of urban regeneration component, parts of these new areas being transformed into pedestrian zones with green spaces, contributing in this way to the traffic reduction. We had some presentations in high-schools and talked with other students about all these things and we were happy to see that other kids have the same support for these actions as us. Also, the city ring road was extended outside of the Oradea and even if this had a negative influence on the vegetation in the surrounding area, that can be seen on EO images, the benefit for the inner city in the future is huge. The public transport is now in the phase of development and we campaigned for greener ways of transportation during our visits to other schools. We intend to collaborate with some of them to build cheap, Arduino or raspberry pi based air monitoring stations and to present them to other students and to the general public to raise awareness.
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