2008 lebte mehr als die Hälfte der Menschen in Städten. Forscherinnen und Forscher des KIT erarbeiten Lösungen zur Entwicklung und zum Schutz urbaner Systeme.

The future viability of urban regions very much depends on optimized, non-polluting resource management. This comprises flows of mass and energy as well as area management and urban planning, public health, and ecosystems services.

The aim of the “Urban Systems and Mass Flow Management” topic is to investigate the interactions between natural and anthropogenic processes in an urban environment. By developing sustainable (urban) development concepts and appropriate technical and methodological tools, research under this topic contributes to protecting urban systems from the consequences of climate change and natural disasters and reducing manmade environmental pollution.



Since 2008 more than half of mankind is living in cities. Cities form a dominating factor for mass and energy fluxes which impact the global climate and environment. In response the surroundings of cities and the climate are influencing the urban areas via these fluxes as well. The development of resilient cities thus depends on a sustainable management of the fluxes in both directions.

Climate change, natural disasters, environmental stresses

KIT researchers investigate the impact of climate change, natural disasters, and environmental stresses on urban systems. They develop solutions for resilient urban systems.


The development and integration of urban ecosystems in urban development and planning processes and strategies is an important research topic as well.

Atmopshere and urban climate

KIT scientists are dealing with safeguarding and enhancing the quality of living in urban areas. This includes investigations on urban air quality and urban heat islands as well as on fresh air resources and building aerodynamics.


KIT scientists study waste management and wastewater treatment, optimize water supply networks and transportation systems, and develop sewage cleaning methods.

Social Vulnerability

Economic, demographic, and social change aggravates social vulnerability of cities. KIT researchers develop concepts for its minimization.

Urban Development Scenarios

The KIT Climate and Environment Center develops planning instruments to safeguard and increase the quality of living, to rise the energy efficiency of cities and to reduce their consumption of resources.

How nocturnal cold air flows cool cities

The TV report was broadcast in the science magazine ‘W wie Wissen’ of the German TV channel ARD. It deals with nocturnal cold air flows that occur during relatively windless and cloudless summer nights. With these flows, colder air from the surrounding countryside flows into the urban area and thereby provides a welcome cooling for the city that heats up during the day.

Using the example of studies for the city of Mannheim (Germany), it is explained how by means of a conceived development plan including open spaces, corridors for the inflow of cold air can be created, such that as many city dwellers as possible benefit from the nocturnal cooling.


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