Success Stories: Future challenges of climate-change

The small lane Hölertwiete in Hamburg-Harburg represents a good example of the future challenges of climate-change adapted city development: the narrow and highly paved lane is lined by two densely built rows of houses. Due to this structural design, increasingly occurring extreme weather events, such as heavy rains and heat waves, have a particularly strong impact.

One solution for mitigating urban heat-island effects one the one hand and preventing overloading of the urban sewer systems and flooding on the other hand is the so-called sponge-city concept. In the project BlueGreenStreets, geo-ecologist Michael Richter and his colleague Prof. Wolfgang Dickhaut from the Department of Resource Efficiency in Architecture and Planning of the HafenCity University Hamburg investigate, how to make the best use of rainwater from roofs. Instead of leading the rainwater as usual from the adjacent gutters to the sewer system, they are supplying it to the few trees growing at Hölertwiete. Together with experts from soil science and plant ecology they are testing the small-scale sponge-city system. One key question is, how the supply of rainwater affects the vitality of the planted honey locusts and consequently also their potential to provide ecosystem services and more specifically their cooling potential.

Dr. Laura Stratopoulos and Michael Richter: data download of a Rugged Troll level logger

The team of specialists from different disciplines is conducting a series of experiments with regard to climate-adapted urban planning in the city of Hamburg and its surrounding areas. These include experiments with green roof systems, an experiment in a tree nursery and the measurement campaigns in the real city environment such as Hölertwiete. The sensor technology installed at the different sites varies according to the different research questions and respective approaches. At Hölertwiete, the focus is on continuous level and discharge measurements in the tree pits – an ideal and creative area of application for UGT expertise and the level monitoring instruments of our partner company In-Situ.

This approach, however, is also viewed sceptically, especially from the city administration. Future results have yet to show if the adduction of water is a curse or a blessing for the trees. The topic of waterlogging is widely debated. Michael Richter is confident, however, that using rainwater for the trees will have positive impacts for their vitality, for flood control as well as for the urban climate (keyword tree cooling).

Already for spring 2021, further tree plantings are planned on another location in Hamburg-Harburg. We as UGT follow with greatest interest, which exciting topics will become crucial for this new experiment. We will gladly assist for planning and equipping the measurement campaign. Our products from the areas of meteorology, hydrology, ecophysiology and soil science can be used and combined to evaluate the potential of such innovative urban development approaches.

The second run-up for the UGT EcoUnit at the Expo 2020

UGT is proud to be part of this magnificent event!
The Expo 2020 Dubai was planned to be from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021. As the worldwide pandemic limit all activities, the EXPO 2020 was postponed and takes place from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. Over the course of 182 days, the world exhibition will present innovations, share ideas and foster collaboration between Nations to consider the challenges facing today’s world and the ways in which they could be solved. “The World’s greatest Show” presents itself in line with its overarching theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.
In Dubai, the focus will be on three sub-themes of major significance for the world in which we live: opportunity, mobility and sustainability. They each present us with a difficult task but they also offer new perspectives on how we can change the way we live our lives.

Expo 2020 will be the first world expo to be held in MENA region and is set to attract the highest ever number of visitors from abroad. The number of visits to Expo 2020 is expected to be as high as 25 million, with around 70% coming from outside the United Arab Emirates. More than 200 countries, international organisations and companies will be represented in Dubai – to ensure a better, sustainable future..

This week the EcoUnit from UGT was prepared for the shipment to Dubai. Our Managing Director Dr. Sascha Reth made the last check-up of the exhibit EcoUnit.

Take the chance to participate in our partner In-Situ's webinar series

In this time of social distancing, webinars are a great way to access helpful information and tools to make your job easier and improve project outcomes. Our partner In-Situ, one of the market leaders in water level sensors and multiparameter sondes, has put together a Spring Webinar Series rich with material to improve your knowledge about water quality measurement, water level and flow monitoring and low flow sampling. Please take a look, sign up today, and share with your peers.
https://in-situ.com/blog/2020-spring-webinar-series/
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Expo 2020 Dubai and the German Pavilion

The next World Expo will take place from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021in Dubai, where the theme will be “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.
More than 190 countries will be participating in what will be the first Expo to be held in the Arabic-speaking region. The organisers are expecting over 70% of the visitors to come from overseas.
Koelnmesse GmbH will be organising and running the German Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The “German Pavilion Expo 2020 Dubai Consortium”, comprising facts and fiction GmbH (Cologne) and NUSSLI Adunic AG (Hüttwilen, Switzerland), is in charge of concept design, planning and realisation. facts and fiction is responsible for content, exhibition and media design, and the pavilion is being built by NUSSLI Adunic.
UGT is a partner of the consortium and presents itself with its exhibit “Ecoworm” at the exhibition.
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iDiv Ecotron with 24 EcoUnits at the UFZ research station Bad Lauchstädt

The architecture and spatial design come from LAVA – Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (Berlin). The cultural programme, known as Culture Lab, is being put together by Frankfurt-based agency VOSS+FISCHER, working in a consortium with culture and media manager Mike P. Heisel.

EcoUnit (Ecoworm) goes to Expo 2020

UGT is proud to be part of this magnificent event!
Expo 2020 Dubai takes place from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021. Over the course of 173 days, the world exhibition will present innovations, share ideas and foster collaboration between Nations to consider the challenges facing today’s world and the ways in which they could be solved. “The World’s greatest Show” presents itself in line with its overarching theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.
In Dubai, the focus will be on three sub-themes of major significance for the world in which we live: opportunity, mobility and sustainability. They each present us with a difficult task but they also offer new perspectives on how we can change the way we live our lives.
Bild Ecounit
Expo 2020 will be the first world expo to be held in MENA region and is set to attract the highest ever number of visitors from abroad. The number of visits to Expo 2020 is expected to be as high as 25 million, with around 70% coming from outside the United Arab Emirates. More than 200 countries, international organisations and companies will be represented in Dubai – to ensure a better, sustainable future..
We will keep you in the loop for further details!

New publication in which UGT product SOIL-LT was involved: Effect of artificial soil compaction in landfill capping systems on anisotropy of air-permeability

Effect of artificial soil compaction in landfill capping systems on anisotropy of air-permeability

Steffen Beck-Broichsitter (1), Heiner Fleige (2), Horst H. Gerke (1), and Rainer Horn (2)
(1) Research Area 1 ‘‘Landscape Functioning’’, Working Group ‘‘Hydropedology’’, Leibniz Centre of Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF),Germany
(2) Institute of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, Kiel University, Germany
Abstract
Soil air permeability is an important parameter which governs the aeration in soils that significantly promotes the root growth of field and grassland species and leads, in turn, to higher levels of evapotranspiration. The German Landfill Directive (2009) requires a rigid or a minimal shrinking capping system that ensures a high evapotranspiration rate to decrease the infiltration rate through the underlying waste body and therefore the leachate generation. This research is focussed on the questions if compacted glacial till can ensure the required rigidity and if and how air permeability is affected by soil compaction.
The objective was to compare air-filled porosity and the direction-dependency of air permeability of a capping soil when assuming rigid and non-rigid conditions considering a shrinkage factor. Intact soil cores were sampled in vertical and horizontal direction in 0.05, 0.2, 0.5, and 0.8 m depths at two profiles of a mineral landfill capping system at the Rastorf landfill in Northern Germany. Desiccation experiments were carried out on differently-compacted soils and soil shrinkage was measured with a 3D laser  triangulation device, while the air permeability was estimated with an air flow meter.
The results indicate that the ‘‘engineered’’ soil structure which was predominately platy due to a layered installation, led to a more anisotropic behaviour and therefore to higher air permeability in horizontal than in vertical direction. The compacted installation of the capping system seems to be effective and observes the statutory required more-or-less rigid system, otherwise, soil shrinkage would lead to vertical cracks and a more pronounced isotropic behaviour.
J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci. 2020, 000, 1–11 DOI: 10.1002/jpln.201900281
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