The global trend towards urbanization is the direct cause for many environmental issues and presents a great risk for human comfort and health. It has been observed that urbanized areas can become up to 10 K warmer than their surrounding rural hinterland – a phenomenon called the Urban Heat Island (UHI). This largely affects human comfort, and has an adverse effect on the energy demand for cooling. Additionally, air pollution from industry, traffic and other anthropogenic and natural sources deteriorate air quality and increase the risk of impacts on human health.
In order to propose countermeasures, a fundamental understanding of the underlying physical processes is crucial. The winter course aimed at providing the necessary background, from fundamentals to the most recent advances, to researchers and doctoral students in the field. To this extent, the course has been composed as a unique combination of theory, workshops and exercises, covering a wide range of topics including building aerodynamics, turbulence, coherent structures, active and passive scalar transport, numerical modelling and experimental data acquisition techniques. The idea was to bring the participants in contact with leading researchers in the field, to provide a platform for a constructive and open dialogue as well as to incite collaborations between theorists, computational modellers and experimentalists at an international level.