UZH tapped into the collective wisdom of its community to find out how to make everyday university operations more sustainable. One of the supported projects comes from GIUZ. Green4Clim investigates how the vegetation on campus should be managed – on the one hand to extract as much climate-damaging carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as possible, and on the other to better cool the buildings and thus reduce energy consumption.
Project team: Eugenie Paul-Limoges, Maria J. Santos, Felix Morsdorf, Alain Schneuwly
Duration: 1 year
Funding amount: 100,000 CHF
Units involved: UZH Department of Geography, UZH Betriebsdienst Irchel, Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft (WSL)
Green4Clim uses the UZH Irchel campus as a real-world laboratory to investigate how vegetation composition and distribution may mitigate carbon impacts of campus activities. The project focuses on direct and indirect effects of vegetation management on CO2 sequestration through photosynthesis (direct) and on the energy consumption of buildings through shading and cooling effects (indirect). With a combination of leaf, soil and airborne drone measurements the current CO2 sources and sinks as well as temperature hot spots of all natural areas on Irchel Campus are quantified. Experiments will identify the locations, plant species and communities particularly suitable for binding CO2 and reducing temperatures. Green4Clim results will help design a management strategy for carbon mitigation that can also be transferred to urban areas to achieve climate and biodiversity goals. With Green4Clim, UZH will be at the forefront of real-world lab initiatives on how to use campus vegetation to reduce CO2 emissions.
UZH as Real-World Laboratory
UZH News, 15.11.2023