First International Conference on Urban Physics

 First International Conference on Urban Physics


Conference Proceedings

General information about the conference

FICUP, Quito - Galápagos, 25 September - 2 October 2016


The First International Conference on Urban Physics aims to be a founding event for the numerical simulation of cities and megacities, which are facing worldwide critical problems, such as their dual participation - as victims and actors - to the present and upcoming climate changes. The conference will provide an opportunity for scientists from different disciplines (computer graphics, environmental physics, numerical models, renewable energies, urban planning ...) to confront their ideas and methods for the detection and analysis of physical quantities, in order to better manage the development of cities and to meet economic and environmental constraints.


To achieve this goal, the conference is organized into five main sessions. The best papers will be published in a special issue of an international journal.



  • Massive 3D models and physical data

    A city is made up of thousands or even millions of buildings. The problem is to represent it globally or locally with the level of detail corresponding to the intended objectives of the study. The main difficulty of this step is that not all the plans are available and it is often necessary to "invent" a part of the city, preserving its morphology. Assuming this is solved, physical properties have to be assigned to perform a behavior analysis of the urban scene. As for geometry, a difficult problem to overcome is the determination of these properties, which are constrained by their initial value, but also by their temporal evolution, and finally by the fact that they generally cannot be accessed inside the buildings.

  • Local observations and remote sensing

    Measurements are needed to monitor the performance of the model. They are difficult to achieve in a city because of accessibility issues and also because their implementation over time is complicated. Remote measurement techniques are also contemplated and performed from UAV or aircraft as well as from satellites. The results of these measurements are used both for the definition of the boundary conditions of the numerical simulations and for the checking of their output. Sometimes, they also participate to the calibration of new measuring devices or numerical methods.

  • Environmental physics and urban climate

    The interaction between the city and its environment is twofold. It consists first in studying the environment and determining its effect on the city. In the simulations, the boundary conditions are applied on the mathematical model of the city. In a second step, the influence of the city on the near or distant environments, that is to say on the climate, has to be measured and simulated. Multiscale analyses (from the territorial scale to the neighborhood one) are providing attractive tools for the cities modeling.

  • Renewable energies and sustainable urban planning

    The problem is how to transform the city to improve its performances and to reduce its environmental impact. This includes simulations and measurements on modifications in the design of cities, but also the analysis of the consequences of urbanization policy choices. Contributions are also expected on the integration of the renewable energies in the urban framework.

  • Finite element and other simulation methods

    As seen at point 1, the numerical simulation of an object encompassing several buildings is not trivial. For a whole city, or even a district, the model size reaches the limit of the calculations that may be performed today, especially if all the aspects of heat transfer: conduction, convection and radiation exchange are handled in transient situations. Contributions are expected on process optimization, model reduction techniques and parallel computing. The postprocessing of the computations is also a major component of these simulations.





First International Conference on Urban Physics