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Urban environment, atmosphere and vegetation

In industrialized countries, about 80% of the population lives in cities and in developing countries the share is rapidly increasing. Because of the high population density and land use, on the one hand, urban environments generate global-scale impacts on the biosphere and the climate system; on the other, they are themselves exposed to a range of environmental hazards such as pollutants or microclimatic conditions that can be harmful for the population. IBIMET studies the interactions between the urban environment and the atmosphere, in order to measure the impact of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the impact of policies aimed at controlling emissions. In fact, the urban microclimate is a particularly complex system and its dynamics are influenced by many factors: emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gasses (mainly due to traffic) and their interactions with weather variables. IBIMET also studies urban microclimate changes, the mitigating role of green areas as well as the physiology and phenology of plant species in the urban environment.The Institute has also developed and implemented technological infrastructure for environmental measurements. The following infrastructure is installed in the cities of Florence and Bologna:
•  micro-meteorological station installed at the Ximeniano Observatory  Florence (http://www.biosphere.ibimet.cnr.it/DailyFluxes.htm) and at the CNR Research Area in Bologna. By means of the eddy covariance technique the stations measure CO2, CH4 and energy flows between the urban surface and the atmosphere, as well as all the meteorological variables.
• City runner system for environmental measurements from mobile platforms.
• Widespread meteorological sensor networks (in collaboration with CIBIC – Centre of Bioclimatology of the University of Florence).
•  Wireless sensor network installed on public transport (in collaboration with DIPSA-University of Florence)
IBIMET coordinates the network of Historical Urban Climate Observatories that, as well as the Ximaniano Observatory, involves the observatories in Pesaro, Rome and Milan.
IBIMET is part of the Urban Flux Network.