CE03 - Interactions Humains-Environnement

Towards reducing CO2 emissions and the urban heat island of the Aix-Marseille metropolis – COoL-AMmetropolis

Submission summary

Most of the global population leaves in cities, expected to expand rapidly in the next decades. Cities and their industrial facilities are estimated to release more than 70% of fossil fuel CO2, although these estimates need to be verified at the city scale. Furthermore, cities are undergoing higher temperatures than their surrounding rural areas due to the Urban Heat Island (UHI) which also directly influence some CO2 fluxes (for example from buildings domestic heating, car air-conditioning, urban and rural vegetation uptake). Cities are thus strategic places where actions on mitigating CO2 emissions and also on lowering down atmospheric temperature elevation should be undertaken in priority.

This project focuses on characterizing and mitigating CO2 emissions and UHI in the Aix-Marseille metropolis (AMm), of which the new governance entity is the “Metropole Aix-Marseille-Provence" (noted AMPM). AMm is the second most populated area of France (1.8 M inhabitants), is much industrialized, and is located in the PACA region strongly exposed to the risks of Climate Change.

The objectives of the project are : (1) verifying and improving the spatio-temporal distribution of the AMm FFCO2 emissions estimates and quantifying their current contribution against natural fluxes, (2) characterizing the variability of the UHI and atmospheric CO2 at the diurnal, synoptic and seasonal scales in the AMm area, and modeling UHI and CO2 sources and sinks interactions at the local to the AMm scale; and (3) defining and evaluating the benefits of development scenarios of the AMm urban ecosystem to the horizon 2035 for mitigating both CO2 emissions and UHI, at the different scales, and find the most effective way to integrate the vertuous scenarios, defined in interaction with stakeholders, into legal and urban planning schemes, tools, charters or practices.

To reach these objectives, a multidisciplinary Consortium made of 5 main partners (IMBE, CNRM, Pytheas, LIEU, AtmoSud) and 6 non-funded partners (LSCE, INRA/URFM, ESPACE, MIO, CEA-CAD/DTN, GNS New-Zeeland) is proposed, ensuring complementarity between atmospheric physicists, urbanists, territorial jurists, emission stockcounters and AMm socio-economic actors with privileged links with local/regional stakeholders. Through its expertise and the organisation of annual seminars, GREC-Sud (sub-contract.) will reinforce these interactions.

The project is organized in 4 workpackages. WP0 is dedicated to the project coordination. WP1 is assigned to the collection and analyzes of CO2 and UHI observations, and WP2 to the development and assessment of the CO2 and UHI modelling framework. WP1 and WP2 will feed WP3, dedicated to the role of the several levels in the AMPM in the governance for the urban adaptation strategies on the UHI and CO2 issues. It relies on legal documents analyses, multi-indicators evaluation of scenarios, and a strategy of ensuring regular interactions between the research community, local stakeholders & civil society throughout the full project duration.

The project will benefit in several scientific fields (meteorology, CO2 cycle and mitigation, social and law sciences on urban planning), but also in a social field. A social output of the project is through the improvement of the regional emissions inventory delivered by the socio-economical partner AtmoSud, that will be used for the daily operational Air Quality Forecasts on the AMm. Another will be, in operational urban planning, the reinforcement of common actions by the stakeholders on urban adaptation policies.

In order to insure a wide diffusion and successful impacts of the project, the results will be disseminated to 3 types of communities: scientific (through scientific papers, conferences and open-source models), stakeholders (seminars with stakeholders, NGO and associations, compendium of good practices and propositions), and public (website, movies, ‘ Cahier grand public’ journals).

Project coordination

Irène XUEREF-REMY (Institut méditerranéen de biodiversité et d'écologie marine et continentale)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


GNS GNS Science / Department of Isotope Geosciences
IMBE Institut méditerranéen de biodiversité et d'écologie marine et continentale
CEA CAD Laboratoire de modélisation de transferts dans l’environnement
MIO Institut Méditerranéen d'océanologie
URFM Ecologie des Forêts Méditerranéennes
ESPACE Etudes des structures, des processus d'adaptation et des changements de l'espace
LSCE Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement
CNRM Centre national de recherches météorologiques

Help of the ANR 748,948 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2019 - 48 Months

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