Claire Gallacher

M.Sc. Environmental Governance


DLGS, Falkenbrunnen, Würzburger Straße 35, Room 222

Phone: +49 (0)351 463 42339
Fax: +49 (0)351 4679 212

DLGS 2021 (2021-2024)

Doctoral Thesis

Working title:
Hyperlocal mapping of urban heat, vulnerability and risk; an interdisciplinary approach to support evidence-based governance

Prof. Dr. Marc Wolfram, Technische Universität Dresden

IOER Research area:
Built Environment - Resources and Environmental Risks

Excessive heat in urban areas has been recognised globally as the most deadly of all climate related natural disasters. Due to the spatial resolution of available air temperature data monitoring and alerts for heat related hazards are normally enacted at the regional level, in accordance with the distribution of public weather stations, which is generally insufficient for informing accurate planning and prevention measures locally. Air temperatures are known to vary significantly on scales of as little as metres and thus the associated human vulnerability and risk is also assumed to vary at this hyperlocal scale. Even with spatially explicit empirical knowledge, the process of implementing climate adaptation measures is not straightforward as there are many competing interests from actors in the urban arena with regards to the placement of available resources, priority actions, and knowledge.

An interdisciplinary, mixed-methods approach is proposed with the aim to better understand the factors affecting air temperature at the hyperlocal level and how the vulnerability and risk of pedestrians vary accordingly for the case study area of Dresden-Neustadt. A systematic literature review shall be first undertaken to assess existing knowledge, which is then validated with self-collected empirical data. From the empirical data, hyperlocal hazard maps shall then be created which shall be combined with socio-economic data in order to analyse spatial patterns of vulnerability and risk. With this spatial information as a basis, a multi-stakeholder participation process shall take place to inform the creation of a geographical decision support system and further to identify appropriate user-accepted design principles with the overall motive of presenting an evidence-based governance approach to sustain pedestrian health and thermal comfort.



Since 03/2021
Doctoral Student at The Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Environmental Science, Dresden, Germany

Studies in Environmental Governance, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany
Academic degree: Master of Science

Studies in Geography, State University of New York, Albany, USA
Academic exchange year

Studies in Geography, University of Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Academic degree: Bachelor of Science


Intern, Bioversity International, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

02/2020, 02/2021
GIS tutor, University of Freiburg, Germany