What is WUDAPT?

The World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools (WUDAPT) is an initiative to collect data on the form and function of cities around the world. The impact of cities on the climate at urban, regional and global scales is a topic of considerable debate. Much of the relevant research to date has been focused on mapping urban centers using demographic and administrative information, often supplemented by remote sensing. However, these data provide no information on the internal make-up of cities, which is important for understanding their impact on the environment as well as their vulnerability to change. The most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes the dearth of information on urban areas. The WUDAPT initiative is designed to fill this gap.

The overall aims of WUDAPT are to:

  • use the Local Climate Zone (LCZ) classification framework as the starting point for characterizing cities in a consistent manner
  • use Geo-Wiki to sample land cover and land use types across LCZs (e.g. impervious surfaces (buildings, roads, other), pervious surfaces, grassland, etc.)
  • develop tools (online and mobile-based) to obtain other parameters such as building materials, building dimensions, canopy widths, etc.
  • provide open access to this dataset so that researchers around the world can use the data for many different types of applications, from climate and weather modeling to energy balance studies
  • provide basic tools in the portal to allows researchers to aggregate the data to a user-specified reference grid (resolution and starting location) and compare cities around the world.

The first WUDAPT workshop was held at University College Dublin (7 to 9 July 2014) in which 16 cities were classified into LCZs. The workshop was also used to discuss protocols for data collection. View a video from the workshop opening or read our summary report to learn more.

We were recently featured in MESH Cities, which is a repository for crowdsourced smart city technologies and design solutions

For WUDAPT to work, we need to build a community of interested urban experts and interested researchers who will take active part by:

  • using the training materials (to be posted shortly!) to classify your city into LCZs
  • contributing your LCZ map to WUDAPT
  • helping us to collect other parameters using the online and mobile-based tools that will be developed.

If you want to get involved, fill out the contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.