cs_CZ de_DE hu_HU it_IT pl_PL sl_SI us
Development and application of mitigation and adaptation
strategies and measures for counteracting the global
Urban Heat Islands phenomenon
This project is implemented through
the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme
co-financed by the ERDF

Pilotnih območij – Lodz in Varšava

General information
Geographic location Warsaw & Lodz
Starting date (effective)
Ending date (estim.)
Presentation of the pilot area

Pilot Action Warsaw (2.5 MiB)

Descriptions of interested area, sub-area (if considered), pilot area in details

  • General description of the area including the pilot area
    Warsaw is the capital and the largest city of Poland. With 1.7 million residents and over 2.6 million residents of a greater metropolitan area it becomes the 9th most populous city in the European Union. It is located in the heartland of the Masovian Plain, and its average elevation is 100 metres above sea level. Warsaw is crossed by Vistula, the biggest Polish river.pa_warsaw_pic1The city with an area over 500 km2 and with significant differentiation of land use. Over last 20 years the city is intensively build over with the infills and skyscrapers in the city centre, closed housing estates in the outer districts and separate houses on the outskirts, on the former agricultural lands.
    Nowadays about 243 km2 is a built-up area (28% no-dense and 22% dense settlements). Forests cover about 13% of city area. 85 km2 is used as meadows and fields. Relatively great area (about 60 km2, i.e. 12%) is covered by transport system (roads and railways).
    The aim of the pilot studies was to compare how 2 areas with similar distance from the city centre and height of buildings but with different age, density of buildings and proportions of green to build-up areas influence UHI, bioclimatic conditions and human’s health.
  • Description of specific pilot area (including physical, economic and social conditions)
    The microclimatic variation in bioclimatic conditions was examined within two residential districts in Warsaw: the Włodarzewska (Area 1) and Koło (Area 2) housing estates located to the west of the city centre, both of which are situated near parks.Koło estate was established about 50 years ago. The 4-5 floor buildings are built at low density. Wide spaces between buildings are covered by lawns and high, mature, deciduous trees. The RBVA (Ratio of Biologically Vital Areas) is 54.3% and SDC (Settlement Density Coefficient which is calculated as: SDC = built-up area@number of floors/total area of housing estate) is 0.8.The Włodarzewska estate was built about 15 years ago and is surrounded by many open spaces and a park, but arranged in a way which effectively precludes air entry from outside. It is characterized by compact development (the 4-5 floor blocks are very densely built up and are constructed over underground car parks), many small flowerbeds with coniferous shrubs and lawns between buildings. Only a few young deciduous trees are growing there. RBVA is 40.7% and SDC is 1.25. Distributions and durnal cycles of meteorological elements (air temperature and humidity, wind speed, global solar radiation) and Universal Themal Climate Index UTCI were determined.

    Study area 1



    Study area 2



Description of the planning systems, social-economic and environmental conditions

  • Territorial level of planning, including main instruments
    For the most of the Polish territory the local land-use plans has not been developed. In 2005 about 20% of the Poland area ratified such plans. In 2005 only 14% of Warsaw’ area has got the approved local land-use plans.One of the most important documents pointed out the directions of the city development is „Study of the conditions and directions of the spatial organization Capital City Warsaw” (Studium uwarunkowań i kierunków zagospodarowania przestrzennego Miasta Stołecznego Warszawy) resolved by Warsaw City Council on 7 October 2010 (No XCII/2689/2010). The Study is the basis for creating the local land-use plans and for providing the building permits decisions.
  • Social and economic conditions
    None of concern.
  • Environmental conditions
    Together with microclimatic measurements in May-June 2013 the inventory of plant cover and spatial organisation of studied areas were made. The plant species were divided in two groups: allergic and neutral. The inventory of plant species will allow defining health risks for citizens of studied housing estates.

    Study area 1

    Vegetation of high allergic potential – 26 trees or bushes (4,2%)

    Study area 2

    Vegetation of high allergic potential – 8 trees or bushes (1,7%)

  • Main climatic -meteorological characteristics and phenomena in the pilot area
    The results of experimental research revealed bigger variation of UTCI inside a housing estate with a higher ratio of biologically vital areas and a lower coefficient of settlement density.The Koło estate, with a large RBVA ratio, has UTCI values that are on average up to 5.4ºC lower than the centre of the city. In the coolest place these differences are even greater and reach about 9ºC in the middle of the day.On the Włodarzewska estate, with low RBVA, UTCI values do not differ significantly from the city centre. The average difference is about -1ºC. At the coolest sites the difference is about -3ºC.

    Table: Differences in UTCI values (ºC) between the housing estates examined and the city centre

    Estate Time of day Average Hottest site inside estate Coolest site inside estate
    Koło (RBVA 54%, SDC 0.8) morning -1.7 -0.1 -4.3
    midday -5.4 -2.8 -8.8
    Włodarzewska (RBVA 41%, SDC 1.25) morning -0.9 0.6 -2.3
    midday -1.3 -0.2 -2.9

    On the whole area of Włodarzewska estate in daytime hours heat stress is very similar and there are no place for recovery of an organism.

    Biothermal conditions of Koło estate are very differentiated spatially. There are both, hot spots and cool lakes suitable for thermal recovering.

Specific need and climate protection initiatives developed in the area (eventual)

  • Specific needs of the area
    To be defined.
  • Specific experiences related with climate or energy policies in the area or in comparable contexts
    None of concern.

Main redevelopment indication, expected results (also positive effect on other sectorial polices), local involvement

  • Redevelopment indications, planning tools to be implemented, main guidelines to develop the specific project
    To be defined.
  • Expected results
    The results of research allow to simulate the changes in spatial organization (buildings, ground cover, materials used) and in plant species compositions. The simulations give recommendations how biomicroclimatic conditions can be improved and how possible health risks can be reduced. In the health risk assessment we will consider both, risk of allergies and cardiovascular risks.To be completed.
  • Describe how the expected results of your PA can positively affect the environmental and agricultural policies in your region
    To be defined.
  • Report how the different level of stakeholders will be involved in the pilot action
    None of concern.