Urban Climate Resilience: Tackling Microclimates and Dwelling Overheating

Urban Climate Resilience: Tackling Microclimates and Dwelling Overheating

Join us for the launch of Briefing Notes - a new kind of article for practitioners - to discuss adaptation at two related urban scales. 30 June 2021, 12:00 – 13:30 BST

The design of our cities, streets, open spaces and homes impacts on the local climate (microclimate) as well as on the health of citizens.  Compact urban form is often argued to be a more sustainable approach, but can cause adverse consequences on local microclimates, with localised cascading impacts on building energy demand for cooling/heating and air quality. At the scale of the individual building, summertime internal overheating in new and existing dwellings is widespread and increasing, even in the UK’s temperate climate.  There is an urgent need to solve the problem. Urban flats and small dwellings are particularly affected, presenting new health risks to elderly and vulnerable residents.

This event will feature the launch of two briefing papers on microclimates and overheating in temperate climates, bringing in panels of professionals from a variety of disciplines to consider the findings and implications for professional practice in the UK context. We will examine interacting consequences that arise from modern demands (e.g. increased density, increased floor area ratios, economic drivers), explore how resilience can be created and what this means for modifying existing cities, and showcase new knowledge and solutions. Respondents from government and practice are asked:  How can we create and operationalise a resilient response? Which decisions take account of this?  How can this be mainstreamed into professional practice?

The briefing papers:

Urban microclimate in temperate climates: a summary for practitioners by Rohinton Emmanuel

Summertime overheating in dwellings in temperate climates by Kevin Lomas

Speakers and Panellists

Richard Lorch, Editor in Chief, Buildings & Cities (Chair)

Gemma Holmes, Senior Analyst, Adaptation, UK Climate Change Committee

Rohinton Emmanuel, Director of the Centre for Energy and the Built Environment, Glasgow Caledonian University.

Kevin J. Lomas, School of Architecture, Building, and Civil Engineering, Loughborough University

Bhakti Depala, Development Liaison Manager, Dept of the Built Environment, City of London Corporation

Joanna Averley, Chief Planner, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)

Joe Baker, Head of Carbon Management, Haringey Council

Paul Ciniglio, Refurbishment Lead, National Energy Foundation

Briefing Notes

Briefing Notes are free, short articles (about 5 pages) that quickly and efficiently inform practitioners, clients and the public about the current state of knowledge on a particular topic and the implications this poses to them – opportunities and risks. These peer-reviewed articles address multiple levels of performance, the differences in its spatial scales, as well as lifecycle / long-term concerns. They will be tailored to the varied interests of the different actors.


Attendance is free, but advance registration is required. Registration and tickets: https://bit.ly/3iImDZJ

Time: Wednesday 30 June 2021 12:00 – 13:30 BST



This event is jointly hosted by Buildings & Cities and London Climate Change Partnership.

It is held as part of London Climate Action Week.

Latest Commentaries

Turkey and Syria Earthquake 2023. A devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the Turkish province of Kahramanmaras. Photo: Twintyre (Shutterstock).

In light of the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, David Oswald and Trivess Moore (RMIT University) reflect on the rights that inhabitants have for buildings to be safe, healthy, comfortable and robust. However, serial and various failings in the construction supply side and its oversight by governments mean greater accountability is needed.

Blind Spots in Energy Policy

As a policy practitioner who leads a national organisation representing households and small businesses in shaping the future of Australia’s energy system, Lynne Gallagher (Energy Consumers Australia) responds to the Buildings & Cities special issue, Energy, Emerging Technologies and Gender in Homes.  Insights from lived experience reveal blind spots in the design, provision and use of smart tech that adversely affect energy outcomes.

Join Our Community