Airborne fine dust particles (FD) are recognized as one of the most harmful pollutants to human health. The size of fine dust determines their ability to penetrate the human body, and particles less than 10 microns in size are recognized as the most dangerous. At the same time, the causes of FD toxicity are still insufficiently studied. For example, the relationship between mortality from COVID-19 and the concentration of FD in the air was shown. However, it is still not clear whether fine dust is a direct vector carrier of the virus or only exacerbates the susceptibility of the human body to the virus.
Mikhail Varentsov, an expert from the Smart Urban Nature laboratory, presented the results of numerical modeling and experimental studies in the field of urban meteorology and climatology on the example of the Moscow megacity and Russian Arctic cities. The presentation took place September 23, 2020, on the 33rd Scientific and Educational Seminar on Supercomputer Modeling of the Climate System.
SUN Lab in cooperation with Landscape Engineering Guild assessed ecosystem services for a new residential complex in Moscow
Smart Urban Nature lab together with the Landscape Engineering Guild, has implemented a project to assess ecosystem services for one of Moscow’s residential complexes.
Moscow architectural bureau UTRO, whose specialists developed the concept of improvement for the residential complex “Metropolia”, strove for a reasonable balance between the purpose of the object, the needs of people and the environment. Thus, the main goal in developing the concept was to bring nature to the city center to create a comfortable living environment. With the proximity of major roads, the impact of the urban heat island, and the increasing number of extreme weather events associated with climate change, the regulatory functions of green infrastructure seem to be the most significant.
SUN Lab’s climatology team with the support of the Russia Science Foundation is developing the first russian system for predicting heat risks for urban residents. The “Heat in Russia – 2020” project applies an experimental technology, based on modeling the thermal balance of the human body in various meteorological situations, and allows to identify “heat waves” and indicate the most dangerous time periods.
“Sustainable city means green city”: scientists, practitioners and municipal services discussed new challenges and prospects for sustainable megalopolises
From July 8 to 10, 2020, the Smart and Sustainable Cities international conference in advanced technologies for sustainable development of urban green infrastructure was held on the base of the Department of Landscape architecture and sustainable ecosystems. Due to specific circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held online. However, this did not prevent the conference for the second time from becoming an open discussion platform uniting not only the research community, but also municipal services, environmental protection agencies and organizations working in the field of urban management and landscaping.
Particular attention in organizing the SSC-2020 conference was paid to attracting young scientists – participants of the 3MUGIS Summer School, which was held from July 3 to 13. The conference brought together more than 100 participants from Russia, USA, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Ukraine, Kazakhstan with the involvement of leading russian and foreign experts in the field of ecology, soil science, landscape design and sustainable development.
On June 24, 2020, the annual Board meeting of the Smart Urban Nature Lab was held. The meeting took its place online and was devoted to a discussion of the results of the laboratory’s work. The Board meeting gathered all the lab’s scientists and experts headed by Riccardo Valentini as well as invited international colleagues and external experts from France, Italy, Germany and Russia.
In more details scientists discussed the current SUN project “Smart technologies to monitor, model and evaluate ecosystem services provided by urban green infrastructure and soils to support decision making in sustainable city development under global changes” which was financed by Russian Science Foundation and started in May 2019.
Anna Paltseva, a researcher at the SUN Lab, and Professor Alexander Neaman made an overview of research works in the field of the impact of global climate change on metal mobility in soils.
On April 29, 2020 a round-table “Urban Ecology. Theory for practice” was held in an online format. The main topic was focused on the interaction of theorists in urban ecology and practitioners in urban development and landscape architecture. The participants of the round table – researchers, architects and designers of urban environment – presented their projects and discussed the features and prospects of communication between researchers of urban ecosystems and specialists of Russian urban planning and improvement. The discussion focused on the impact of environmental data of modern cities on the work of urban decision makers. The event was organized by Smart Urban Nature Laboratory of RUDN University and the Guild of Landscape Engineers (Moscow).
Science in self-isolation: climatologist from SUN Lab held a public online lecture on climate and coronavirus
April 17, 2020 a virtual meeting with Pavel Konstantinov, a climatologist, scientist at the Smart Urban Nature Laboratory (RUDN University), as well as the Executive Secretary of Russian Pan-Eurasian Experiment office (PEEX in Moscow State University) took place. The online lecture gathered about 700 viewers. In a conversation about climate, Pavel paid special attention to the current situation with coronavirus. And also shared a useful life hack how to determine the weather for tomorrow with an accuracy of 72% in two minutes.
SUNLab Research Seminar was held on March 4, 2020. Invited professors from Germany and the Netherlands spoke about their current research and areas of cooperation.