Subprojects | Project Area C | Circulation and Order

Urban Microclimate Planning Regimes: The Constitution of Spaces and Infrastructures of Heat

Starting from a conceptualization of the city as critical zone of the Anthropocene, the subproject investigates the refiguration of urban spaces associated with microclimatic adaptation strategies. The project’s empirical focus therefore lies on the current formation of a microclimate regime in urban development contexts aimed at mitigating negative effects of creeping thermal stress on human and non-human life in the city. Using the interrelated examples of two pioneering cities with respect to microclimatic adaption strategies – namely Stuttgart in Germany and Fukuoka in Japan – three moments of the regime forming process will be examined from the perspective of spatial sociology: a) the problematization of urban heat, which is linked to certain socio-spatial arrangements of heat and affectedness; b) the infrastructuring of heat-resilient spaces, which is characterized by material-political strategies and conflicts with existing practices and infrastructures; and c) the translocal circulation of the microclimatic regime, which reveals variations in the associated refiguration of spaces. The subproject thereby aims to make a threefold contribution to the CRC’s research agenda: firstly, by studying spatial arrangements of heat and affectedness in order to determine which spatial figures are suitable for conceptualizing current processes of planetary refiguration; secondly, by examining urban microclimatic interventions in order to observe how the current climate crisis and climate policies are impacting the refiguration of spaces; and thirdly, by exploring local variations of this refiguration process through the interwoven stories told by the selected case studies.

Project photo: Passivhaus Institut