Urban climatology applied to urban planning: a postwar knowledge circulation failure

Michael Hebbert*, Fionn Mackillop

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The article discusses an instance of knowledge that failed to circulate the application of urban climatology in town planning. This field of applied science was systematized in German-speaking universities and cities and remains most firmly established in North-Central Europe. In the decades after the second world war successive commissions and study groups of the World Meteorological Organization, the International Federation of Housing and Planning, the Confederation Internationale du Batiment and the International Society for Biometeorology sought to spread awareness of climatological factors among planners and architects worldwide. The article examines the organizations and individuals involved in this campaign, describes their meetings, publications and outreach, and assesses the disappointing impact. The legacy of this failure is considered in the context of present-day interest in planning for carbon mitigation and climate-change adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1542-1558
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Urban and Regional Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


  • urban climatology
  • town planning technique
  • knowledge transfer
  • World Meteorological Organization
  • sustainability
  • history


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