The project R.A.C.E.S. is mainly targeted to address the issues of climate change and sustainability, with a particular focus on urban climate and cities mitigation and adaptation strategies. Climate, in fact, is changing faster in cities - representing 2/3 of the Italian population – where the effects are more evident: increasing summer average temperatures (above 40 degree Celsius); decreasing precipitations; heat waves phenomena. All these effects are enhanced in populous areas by the “heat island effect” due to heavy traffic, heating and conditioning system, building expansion, asphalt capturing solar radiation and blocking soil transpiration making urban areas hotter.
While conducting a communication campaign on climate change based on accurate and scientific information, R.A.C.E.S. will also focus on the issues of climate adaptation and mitigation which arises from the specific urban environments analysed, in order to help local audiences to actively change their lifestyles behaviours and to participate in shaping the local environmental policy. Cities are perfect labs for testing climate change adaptation policies, for two reasons: firstly, they will provide citizens with adequate measures – such as eco-building and green urban areas expansion – to fight climate changes impacts; secondly, municipalities are an important actor in promoting mitigation actions to reduce greenhouses gases, promoting the use of renewable energies, spreading energy efficiency measures in building and making urban mobility environmentally sustainable. In order to reach significant results at national level and to be replicable in Europe, R.A.C.E.S. involves 5 Italian areas which well represent the different Italian urban environments and the way they could adapt to climate change