BeReady: Preparing cities for rising temperatures

01. 07. 2024
Author: Zuzana Novotná

BeReady: Preparing cities for rising temperatures

The year 2023 was the hottest year globally in 150 years. The hottest summer in terms of tropical days since 1960, when the maximum temperature exceeded 30 °C on 37 days, was in 2015. In the same year, there were 63 "summer days" with a maximum temperature of over 25 °C and 12 "tropical nights" with temperatures that did not fall below 20 °C. The number of tropical and ice days depends of course on the local climatic conditions of the measuring station, so it is important to note that the data are based on temperatures measured at the Brno-Tuřany station, 7.5 km from the city centre. 


It is the city centres that are most affected by high temperatures. During the day, the temperature difference between cities and the surrounding countryside is 1 to 3 degrees Celsius, but in the evening it can reach up to 10 degrees. The high temperature difference is caused by the heat island phenomenon. The main cause is the overlapping of the original vegetation with hard surfaces and buildings, which absorb large amounts of heat from the sun and then release it into the surrounding area. Higher temperatures not only affect the physical and psychological well-being of city dwellers, but heat islands also cause air pollution and less precipitation. 

At JINAG, we are actively looking for solutions to help mitigate the effects of climate change, and not just in our region. That's why we became part of the international BeReady project, which we first introduced to you in January and held our first kick-off meeting for in February. In Sofia, Bulgaria, we debated the problem of heat islands in cities and the possible solutions to help cities adapt to the new climate challenges they face.

The meeting in Sofia took place over two days. On the first day, the partners were introduced, the timeframe of the project was presented and the first objectives were set, which will be fulfilled together by June 2024. The second day was a conference organised by the Sofia Development Association, the leader of the BeReady project. The conference was opened by Julian Popov, Bulgarian Minister of Environment, who stressed the need to ensure energy efficiency, the construction of green roofs and the restoration of urban waterways. These are all solutions that will help to cool cities in order to mitigate extreme heat waves inside urban areas.

A number of European climate experts took part in the discussion, sharing their experiences and advice on appropriate strategies or ways to involve selected institutions. For example, maintaining vegetation and green spaces in neighbourhoods, near schools or in inner city areas was mentioned as one of the effective solutions to high temperatures in public spaces. The topic of heat islands is a very complex one, as it involves the simultaneous intersection of economics, urban planning, ecology and social life. 

The BeReady project is funded by the Interreg Danube Programme, a European Union programme supporting transnational cooperation in the Danube region.