Urban Green Systems 4.0 - a computational framework for novel Urban Green System design

Rapid urbanisation and environmental degradation draw increasing attention to the delivery of ecosystem services that plants provide in cities. Future urban green systems (UGS) can mitigate the consequences of urban climate change by improving outdoor living quality and protecting buildings and people from the consequences of extreme weather. The design, planning, and management of novel UGS can adapt strategies and methods from historical land use systems. These systems have been developed specifically for certain contexts with the aim of achieving precisely defined functions. They are based on a set of techniques such as coppicing, pollarding, pleaching or grafting. The potential of these practices for the development of novel UGS has not yet been systematically assessed. Our research aim is to tackle the complex dynamics of UGS design and plant growth management through a novel combination of performance-oriented design, 3D-scanning, and simulation.  We will set out a framework for a novel workflow, coupling generative and analytical computational methods, and related tools, with an adequate decision support system.

Research Goals

  • Structure and function of manipulated trees - document selected manipulation techniques such as pruning and bending branches and resultant changes in growth and mechanics.
  • Ecosystem services - develop models to simulate the provision of ecosystem services such as shading or cooling by transpiration.
  • Growth simulation and analysis methods - explore the link between plant manipulation, structure (the plant’s grown form) and physiological processes at a plant organ’s scale.
  • Computational Design for urban green system - develop a decision-support system that provides the possibility to evaluate the short-term reactions of tree growth to manipulations with respect to their long-term spatial and microclimatic outcomes.

Funding and Duration

DFG- Einzelvorhaben DACH No. DFG-GZ: LU2505/2-1 AOBJ:683826

01.06.2022 – 30.06.2025


Professorship for Green Technologies in Landscape Architecture, TU München

Arcissstr. 21

80333 München


Cooperation Partners

Prof. Dr. Thomas Rötzer & Prof. Dr. Hans Pretzsch, Chair of Forest Growth and Yield Science, TUM

Prof. Arch. Dipl.-Ing. Michael Ulrich Hensel, Research Department of Digital Architecture and Planning, TU Wien

The 3D scans are kindly supported by Bruns Pflanzen.