Applied Climatology in Urban Planning - A Knowledge Circulation Failure

Michael Hebbert, Fionn McKillop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper discusses an instance of knowledge that failed to circulate - the application of urban climatology in town planning. This knowledge was first systematised in German-speaking universities and cities and is still most widely practised in north-central Europe. In the decades after the Second World War successive commissions and study groups of the World Meteorological Organization, the International Federation of Housing and Planning, the Confédération Internationale du Bâtiment and the International Society for Biometeorology tried to raise awareness of climatological factors among planners and architects worldwide. We discuss four aspects of this campaign - organisations, meetings, publications and outreach - and assess its disappointing impact.. The legacy of this failure can be seen today as cities seek to adjust to the agenda of local-scale carbon mitigation and climate change adaptation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Urban & Regional Research
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


  • urban climatology, town planning technique, Germany, international organisations


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