A review of assessment methods for the urban environment and its energy sustainability to guarantee climate adaptation of future cities
Journal article, 2019

The current climate change is calling for a drastic reduction of energy demand as well as of greenhouse gases. Besides this, cities also need to adapt to face the challenges related to climate change. Cities, with their complex urban texture and fabric, can be represented as a diverse ecosystem that does not have a clear and defined boundary. Multiple software tools that have been developed, in recent years, for assessment of urban climate, building energy demand, the outdoor thermal comfort and the energy systems. In this review, we, however, noted that these tools often address only one or two of these urban planning aspects. There is nonetheless an intricate link between them. For instance, the outdoor comfort assessment has shown that there is a strong link between biometeorology and architecture and urban climate. Additionally, to address the challenges of the energy transition, there will be a convergence of the energy needs in the future with an energy nexus regrouping the energy demand of urban areas. It is also highlighted that the uncertainty related to future climatic data makes urban adaptation and mitigation strategies complex to implement and to design given the lack of a comprehensive framework. We thus conclude by suggesting the need for a holistic interface to take into account this multi-dimensional problem. With the help of such a platform, a positive loop in urban design can be initiated leading to the development of low carbon cities and/or with the use of blue and green infrastructure to have a positive impact on the mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Integrated assessment


Built environment

Climate adaptation

Outdoor comfort

Urban mitigation strategies

Energy systems

Urban modelling tools


D. Mauree

Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne

Emanuele Naboni

The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture

S. Coccolo

Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne

Amarasinghage Tharindu Dasun Perera

Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne

Vahid Nik

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Lund University

Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

J. L. Scartezzini

Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

1364-0321 (ISSN)

Vol. 112 733-746

Subject Categories

Other Environmental Engineering

Environmental Management

Energy Systems



More information

Latest update