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    Pioneering Urban Climate Resilience: The IMPETUS Project and the Hotspot Explorer

    Pioneering Urban Climate Resilience: The IMPETUS Project and the Hotspot Explorer

    In the heart of the Mediterranean, cities like Athens face unique environmental challenges that stem from their distinct geographical and climatic conditions. As part of our commitment to addressing these challenges, the Urban Water Management and Hydroinformatics Group (UWMH) at the National Technical University of Athens is actively participating in the IMPETUS Project. This initiative aims to enhance urban resilience through innovative tools and collaborative efforts.
    Athens' (Mediterranean demo site of Impetus) proximity to mountainous areas and its dense urban structure contribute to a complex set of climate-related challenges. The city's natural and urban environments intersect sharply, leading to heightened environmental stresses such as increased heat, water scarcity, and the risk of urban floods and forest fires. These issues are further exacerbated by the Mediterranean's hot climate and limited green spaces, underscoring an urgent need for effective climate resilience strategies.
    One of the standout innovations emerging from the IMPETUS Project is the Hotspot Explorer, a climate vulnerability assessment tool developed by our researchers at NTUA. The tool is designed to identify and prioritize "climate hotspots" — areas within urban settings that are particularly vulnerable to climate impacts.
    Integration of Comprehensive Data: The Hotspot Explorer utilizes earth observation data, climatic information, and local socio-economic factors to create a detailed mapping of risks.
    Prioritization of Intervention Areas: By identifying the most vulnerable areas, the tool helps policymakers and stakeholders focus their efforts where they are needed most.
    Support for Informed Decision-Making: The detailed insights provided by the tool enable more informed planning and intervention, ensuring that actions taken are both effective and efficient

    Impact and Future Developments

    The Hotspot Explorer is not only a crucial tool for Athens but also serves as a model that can be adapted and applied to other urban areas facing similar challenges across Europe and beyond. This approach exemplifies how technological innovation can be leveraged to enhance urban resilience and sustainability.
    In September 2024, the Hotspot Explorer is slated for a major update that will introduce even more sophisticated features and capabilities. This update will further enhance the tool's accuracy and usability, making it an even more valuable resource for climate resilience planning.
    Through the IMPETUS Project and tools like the Hotspot Explorer, the Urban Water Management and Hydroinformatics Group at NTUA is at the forefront of developing and implementing solutions that not only address the immediate challenges of climate change but also pave the way for a sustainable future. We invite our community and stakeholders to engage with us as we continue to drive innovation and resilience in urban environments.
    Watch the full interview with Professor Christos Makropoulos for deeper insights into the project and the development of the Hotspot Explorer [interview].

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