Urban climatology and urban design: a history of failed encounters?

Fionn Mackillop, Michael Hebbert

Research output: Working paper


The paper traces attempts at connecting urban climatology and urban planning since the 1950s. We show how successive commissions and study groups of the World Meteorological Organization, the International Federation of Housing and Planning and the International Society for Biometeorology argued for climatological awareness in the practice of urban design. Attempts to achieve knowledge transfer from climate science to urban decision-making are shown to have been largely unsuccessful except in German-speaking countries, where best practice continued to develop in step with scientific advance. Drawing on Actor-Network-Theory, we discuss the importance of these precedents and the failure at constituting networks for the diffusion of urban climatology, in a context of revived awareness of the importance of climatic awareness in urban design.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

NameCSUD working papers


  • urban climatology; planning; actor-network-theory; international networks; climate


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