Urban Climate Bern

High-resolution assessment and analysis of the urban heat island of Bern

Project Summary

Since 2018, the Climatology Group maintains an extensive air temperature monitoring network within and around the city of Bern. Distributed over different urban structures and surfaces, vegetation types, as well as topographical and infrastuctural settings, the low-cost temperature loggers are being placed within a self-made radiation shield. The network consisting of 65 to 85 stations measures air temperatures every 10 minutes from May until September and, since 2021, has also been supported by the city administration (Stadtgrün and Tiefbauamt) and the energy service provider ewb.

The goals of this project are to (1) assess the urban temperature variability at very fine spatial and temporal scales in order to provide a basis for (2) the validation of geostatistical and numerical urban climate models, (3) the evaluation and inter-comparison of different low-cost measurement approaches for urban heat islands, (4) comparisons with “historical” urban climate data retrieved in the 1970s, and (5) analyses of the effects of urban heat stress on human health. Moreover, the data is being used for (6) the development and evaluation of educational material focusing on local impacts of climate change.



  • Burger, M., M. Gubler and S. Brönnimann (2024): High- resolution dataset of nocturnal air temperatures in Bern, Switzerland (2007–2022). Geoscience Data Journal, 00, 1–15. doi: 10.1002/gdj3.237.
  • Kuttler, W., Hollósi, B., and Gubler, M., (2023): Stadtklimatologie im Wandel der Zeit – Einblicke aus Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz. Promet - meteorologische Fortbildung, 106, S. 125-141. Deutscher Wetterdienst DWD, doi: 10.5676/DWD_pub/promet_106_12
  • Burger, M., Gubler, M. and Brönnimann, S. (2022): Modeling the intra-urban nocturnal summertime air temperature fields at a daily basis in a city with complex topography. PLOS Clim 1(12): e0000089. doi: 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000089
  • Meyer, L., Gubler, M., Meier, F. & Brönnimann, S. (2021): Intercomparison and combination of low-cost urban air temperature measurement approaches. Meteorol. Z., doi: 10.1127/metz/2021/1107
  • Burger, M. & Gubler, M. (2020): Der Berner Stadthitze auf der Spur – Stadtforschung aus klimatologischer Perspektive. GeoAgenda, 3, 4-9.
  • Gubler, M., Christen, A., Remund, J. & Brönnimann, S. (2021) Evaluation and application of a low-cost measurement network to study intra-urban temperature differences during summer 2018 in Bern, Switzerland, Urban Climate, 37, 100817, doi: 10.1016/j.uclim.2021.100817
  • Burger, M., Gubler, M., Heinimann, A. & Brönnimann, S. (2021) Modelling the spatial pattern of heatwaves in the city of Bern using a land use regression approach, Urban Climate, 38, 100885, doi: 10.1016/j.uclim.2021.100885
  • Hürzeler, A., Hollósi, B., Burger, M., Gubler, M. and Brönnimann, S. (2022): Performance analysis of the urban climate model MUKLIMO_ 3 for three extreme heatwave events in Bern. City and environment interactions, 16 Elsevier 10. doi:1016/j.cacint.2022.100090


BSc, MSc and PhD Theses

Available Theses

Completed Theses

  • Bachelor Thesis Joel Hari (2022): "Development and evaluation of a low-cost, LoRa-based measurement device for microclimatic assessments in urban environments"
  • Bachelor Thesis Julian Tscharner (2022): "Monitoring urbaner Hitzeentwicklung mit thermalen Drohnenaufnahmen"
  • Bachelor Thesis Noémie Wellinger (2021): "Local Climate Zones (LCZs) in Bern"
  • Master Thesis André Hürzeler (2021): "Assessment of the urban climate model MUKLIMO_3 for three heatwaves in Bern"
  • Master Thesis Moritz Burger (2020): "Modelling the Spatial Pattern of the Urban Heat Island of Bern during Heatwaves in 2018 and 2019 using a Land Use Regression Approach"
  • Master Thesis Sofya Antonowa (2020): "Implementation of the Urban Climate Model MUKLIMO_3 for Bern and Evaluation of Mitigation Strategies for the Urban Heat Island"
  • Bachelor Thesis Lukas Meyer (2019): "Temperaturmessungen mittels Fahrradtransekts durch die Stadt Bern"
  • Master Thesis Saba Baer: "Analyse und Modellierung von Kaltluft im Aaretal der Stadt Bern"
  • Master Thesis Doriana Sabbatini: "Public perceptions of and behavioral responses to urban heat stress in Bern"
  • Master Thesis Thierry Müller: "Assessment of the urban heat island from space looking at land surface temperatures in the city of Bern"
  • Bachelor Thesis Nils Tinner: "Diurnal cycle of land surface temperatures in Bern"
  • Master Thesis Pascal Stäheli: “Assessing Vegetation impacts on the Urban Heat Island intensity of Bern using Remote Sensing and In-Situ Measurements”
  • Bachelor Thesis Nicole Bitzer: "Die urbane Wärmeinsel der Stadt Bern im Verlaufe eines Jahres - Auswertung der ganzjährigen Temperaturdaten von 2018/2019"
  • Master Thesis Daniela Friebel: "Wahrnehmung und Wirkung klimaangepasster Gestaltung öffentlicher Räume in der Stadt Bern. Analyse anhand von Mental Maps in zwei Quartieren der Stad Bern."
  • Bachelor Thesis Mirjam Amstutz: “Mikroklimatische Variabilität in einer Berner Altstadtgasse – Auswertung des Pilotprojektes „Postgasse – die grünste Gasse der Schweiz“
  • PhD Thesis Moritz Burger: "Analyzing the Past, the Present and the future Urban Heat of Bern from different Perspectives" (working title)

Theses in Progress

  • PhD Thesis Setareh Amini: “Urban Green Space and Climate in a Network of Urban Climate Networks (URBNET)” (Arbeitstitel)
  • Master Thesis Tobias Held: "Summer heat in the city of Bern – Influence of urban development and climate change on temperatures in 2022 compared to 1973." (Arbeitstitel)
  • Master Thesis Noémie Wellinger: "Comparing low-cost temperature measurements with model results in the city of Thun" (Arbeitstitel)
  • Master Thesis Mirjam Gerber: “Living in the Urban Heat Island - How Heat Stress affects Mental Health in Urban Environments” (Arbeitstitel)
  • Master Thesis Julian Tscharner: "Thermal Mapping of Urban Microclimates: Correcting Drone Imagery for Vegetation Cooling Assessment" (Arbeitstitel)
  • Master Thesis Adrienne Wehrli: „The Impact of the Urban Heat Island Effect on Mortality in the City of Bern“ (Arbeitstitel)


Heat Walk

More information on the heat walk through the city of Bern can be found on our German webpage.