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Observing and Modeling the Nocturnal Park Cool Island of an Arid City: Horizontal and Vertical Impacts

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We examined the horizontal and vertical nocturnal cooling influence of a small park with irrigated lawn and xeric surfaces (∼3 ha) within a university campus of a hot arid city. Temperature data from 0.01- to 3-m heights observed during a

We examined the horizontal and vertical nocturnal cooling influence of a small park with irrigated lawn and xeric surfaces (∼3 ha) within a university campus of a hot arid city. Temperature data from 0.01- to 3-m heights observed during a bicycle traverse of the campus were combined with modeled spatial temperature data simulated from a three-dimensional microclimate model (ENVI-met 3.1). A distinct park cool island, with mean observed magnitudes of 0.7–3.6°C, was documented for both traverse and model data with larger cooling intensities measured closer to surface level. Modeled results possessed varying but generally reasonable accuracy in simulating both spatial and temporal temperature data, although some systematic errors exist. A combination of several factors, such as variations in surface thermal properties, urban geometry, building orientation, and soil moisture, was likely responsible for influencing differential urban and non-urban near-surface temperatures. A strong inversion layer up to 1 m over non-urban surfaces was detected, contrasting with near-neutral lapse rates over urban surfaces. A key factor in the spatial expansion of the park cool island was the advection of cooler park air to adjacent urban surfaces, although this effect was mostly concentrated from 0- to 1-m heights over urban surfaces that were more exposed to the atmosphere.

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2010-05-21

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Reductions in Air Conditioning Energy Caused by a Nearby Park

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Field observations were carried out to determine the influence of a park on the urban summer climate in the nearby areas. The possibilities of reduction in air conditioning energy were investigated. Air temperature, relative humidity and other meteorological factors were

Field observations were carried out to determine the influence of a park on the urban summer climate in the nearby areas. The possibilities of reduction in air conditioning energy were investigated. Air temperature, relative humidity and other meteorological factors were measured at many locations inside a park and in the surrounding areas in the Tama New Town, a city in the west of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, Japan. The observations indicated that vegetation could significantly alter the climate in the town. At noon, the highest temperature of the ground surface of the grass field in the park was 40.3 °C, which was 19 °C lower than that of the asphalt surface or 15 °C lower than that of the concrete surface in the parking or commercial areas. At the same time, air temperature measured at 1.2 m above the ground at the grass field inside the park was more than 2 °C lower than that measured at the same height in the surrounding commercial and parking areas. Soon after sunset, the temperature of the ground surface at the grass field in the park became lower than that of the air, and the park became a cool island whereas paved asphalt or concrete surfaces in the town remained hotter than the overlying air even late at night. With a size of about 0.6 km2, at noon, the park can reduce by up to 1.5 °C the air temperature in a busy commercial area 1 km downwind. This can lead to a significant decrease of in air conditioning energy in the commercial area.

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1998-05-27

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Tradeoffs Between Water Conservation and Temperature Amelioration In Phoenix and Portland: Implications For Urban Sustainability

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This study addresses a classic sustainability challenge—the tradeoff between water conservation and temperature amelioration in rapidly growing cities, using Phoenix, Arizona and Portland, Oregon as case studies. An urban energy balance model— LUMPS (Local-Scale Urban Meteorological Parameterization Scheme)—is used to

This study addresses a classic sustainability challenge—the tradeoff between water conservation and temperature amelioration in rapidly growing cities, using Phoenix, Arizona and Portland, Oregon as case studies. An urban energy balance model— LUMPS (Local-Scale Urban Meteorological Parameterization Scheme)—is used to represent the tradeoff between outdoor water use and nighttime cooling during hot, dry summer months. Tradeoffs were characterized under three scenarios of land use change and three climate-change assumptions. Decreasing vegetation density reduced outdoor water use but sacrificed nighttime cooling. Increasing vegetated surfaces accelerated nighttime cooling, but increased outdoor water use by ~20%. Replacing impervious surfaces with buildings achieved similar improvements in nighttime cooling with minimal increases in outdoor water use; it was the most water-efficient cooling strategy. The fact that nighttime cooling rates and outdoor water use were more sensitive to land use scenarios than climate-change simulations suggested that cities can adapt to a warmer climate by manipulating land use.

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2013-05-16

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Urban Adaptation Can Roll Back Warming of Emerging Megapolitan Regions

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Modeling results incorporating several distinct urban expansion futures for the United States in 2100 show that, in the absence of any adaptive urban design, megapolitan expansion, alone and separate from greenhouse gas-induced forcing, can be expected to raise near-surface temperatures

Modeling results incorporating several distinct urban expansion futures for the United States in 2100 show that, in the absence of any adaptive urban design, megapolitan expansion, alone and separate from greenhouse gas-induced forcing, can be expected to raise near-surface temperatures 1–2 °C not just at the scale of individual cities but over large regional swaths of the country. This warming is a significant fraction of the 21st century greenhouse gas-induced climate change simulated by global climate models. Using a suite of regional climate simulations, we assessed the efficacy of commonly proposed urban adaptation strategies, such as green, cool roof, and hybrid approaches, to ameliorate the warming. Our results quantify how judicious choices in urban planning and design cannot only counteract the climatological impacts of the urban expansion itself but also, can, in fact, even offset a significant percentage of future greenhouse warming over large scales. Our results also reveal tradeoffs among different adaptation options for some regions, showing the need for geographically appropriate strategies rather than one size fits all solutions.

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2014-02-25

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Prioritizing Urban Sustainability Solutions: Coordinated Approaches Must Incorporate Scale-Dependent Built Environment Induced Effects

Description

Because of a projected surge of several billion urban inhabitants by mid-century, a rising urgency exists to advance local and strategically deployed measures intended to ameliorate negative consequences on urban climate (e.g., heat stress, poor air quality, energy/water availability). Here

Because of a projected surge of several billion urban inhabitants by mid-century, a rising urgency exists to advance local and strategically deployed measures intended to ameliorate negative consequences on urban climate (e.g., heat stress, poor air quality, energy/water availability). Here we highlight the importance of incorporating scale-dependent built environment induced solutions within the broader umbrella of urban sustainability outcomes, thereby accounting for fundamental physical principles. Contemporary and future design of settlements demands cooperative participation between planners, architects, and relevant stakeholders, with the urban and global climate community, which recognizes the complexity of the physical systems involved and is ideally fit to quantitatively examine the viability of proposed solutions. Such participatory efforts can aid the development of locally sensible approaches by integrating across the socioeconomic and climatic continuum, therefore providing opportunities facilitating comprehensive solutions that maximize benefits and limit unintended consequences.

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2015-06-09

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Border Wars: Tax Revenues, Annexation, and Urban Growth in Phoenix

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Phoenix and neighboring municipalities, like many in the South and West, pursued a growth strategy based on annexation in the decades after the second world war. This article explores the link between annexation and competition for tax revenues. After discussing

Phoenix and neighboring municipalities, like many in the South and West, pursued a growth strategy based on annexation in the decades after the second world war. This article explores the link between annexation and competition for tax revenues. After discussing arguments for annexation, it traces the history of annexation in the Phoenix metropolitan area. A long‐running series of ‘border wars’ entailed litigation, pre‐emptive annexations and considerable intergovernmental conflict. The article argues that tax revenues have been a key motivation for municipalities to seek annexation, particularly since the 1970s. The timing of annexation was an important component of the strategies of municipal officials. Developers sought urban economic growth, but did not always favor political expansion of municipal boundaries through annexation. The article then considers several related policy issues and argues that while opportunities for annexation are becoming more limited, competition for tax revenues (particularly sales‐tax revenues) continues to be fierce, creating dilemmas for municipalities in the region.

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2011-04-15

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Improving Heat-Related Health Outcomes in an Urban Environment With Science-Based Policy

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We use the Northeast US Urban Climate Archipelago as a case study to explore three key limitations of planning and policy initiatives to mitigate extreme urban heat. These limitations are: (1) a lack of understanding of spatial considerations—for example, how

We use the Northeast US Urban Climate Archipelago as a case study to explore three key limitations of planning and policy initiatives to mitigate extreme urban heat. These limitations are: (1) a lack of understanding of spatial considerations—for example, how nearby urban areas interact, affecting, and being affected by, implementation of such policies; (2) an emphasis on air temperature reduction that neglects assessments of other important meteorological parameters, such as humidity, mixing heights, and urban wind fields; and (3) too narrow of a temporal focus—either time of day, season, or current vs. future climates. Additionally, the absence of a direct policy/planning linkage between heat mitigation goals and actual human health outcomes, in general, leads to solutions that only indirectly address the underlying problems. These issues are explored through several related atmospheric modeling case studies that reveal the complexities of designing effective urban heat mitigation strategies. We conclude with recommendations regarding how policy-makers can optimize the performance of their urban heat mitigation policies and programs. This optimization starts with a thorough understanding of the actual end-point goals of these policies, and concludes with the careful integration of scientific knowledge into the development of location-specific strategies that recognize and address the limitations discussed herein.

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2016-10-12

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The Urban Heat Island Mitigation Impact Screening Tool (MIST)

Description

A web-based software tool has been developed to assist urban planners and air quality management officials in assessing the potential ofurban heat island mitigation strategies to affect the urban climate, air quality, and energy consumption within their cities. The user

A web-based software tool has been developed to assist urban planners and air quality management officials in assessing the potential ofurban heat island mitigation strategies to affect the urban climate, air quality, and energy consumption within their cities. The user of thetool can select from over 170 US cities for which to conduct the analysis, and can specify city-wide changes in surface reflectivity and/or veg-etative cover. The Mitigation Impact Screening Tool (MIST) then extrapolates results from a suite of simulations for 20 cities to estimate airtemperature changes associated with the specified changes in surface characteristics for the selected city. Alternatively the user can simply definea nominal air temperature reduction that they hope to achieve with an unspecified mitigation scenario. These air temperature changes are theninput to energy and ozone models to estimate the impact that the mitigation action may have on the selected city. The results presented by MISTinclude a high degree of uncertainty and are intended only as a first-order estimate that urban planners can use to assess the viability of heatisland mitigation strategies for their cities. As appropriate, MIST analyses should be supplemented by more detailed modeling.

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2007-02-05

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The Urban Heat Island Effect and City Contiguity

Description

The spatial configuration of cities can affect how urban environments alter local energy balances. Previous studies have reached the paradoxical conclusions that both sprawling and high-density urban development can amplify urban heat island intensities, which has prevented consensus on how

The spatial configuration of cities can affect how urban environments alter local energy balances. Previous studies have reached the paradoxical conclusions that both sprawling and high-density urban development can amplify urban heat island intensities, which has prevented consensus on how best to mitigate the urban heat island effect via urban planning. To investigate this apparent dichotomy, we estimated the urban heat island intensities of the 50 most populous cities in the United States using gridded minimum temperature data sets and quantified each city's urban morphology with spatial metrics. The results indicated that the spatial contiguity of urban development, regardless of its density or degree of sprawl,was a critical factor that influenced the magnitude of the urban heat island effect. A ten percentage point increase in urban spatial contiguity was predicted to enhance the minimum temperature annual average urban heat island intensity by between 0.3 and 0.4 °C. Therefore, city contiguity should be considered when devising strategies for urban heat island mitigation, with more discontiguous development likely to ameliorate the urban heat island effect. Unraveling how urban morphology influences urban heat island intensity is paramount given the human health consequences associated with the continued growth of urban populations in the future.

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2015-09-12

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Planning for Cooler Cities: A Framework to Prioritize Green Infrastructure to Mitigate High Temperatures in Urban Landscapes

Description

Warming associated with urban development will be exacerbated in future years by temperature increases due to climate change. The strategic implementation of urban green infrastructure (UGI) e.g. street trees, parks, green roofs and facades can help achieve temperature reductions in

Warming associated with urban development will be exacerbated in future years by temperature increases due to climate change. The strategic implementation of urban green infrastructure (UGI) e.g. street trees, parks, green roofs and facades can help achieve temperature reductions in urban areas while delivering diverse additional benefits such as pollution reduction and biodiversity habitat. Although the greatest thermal benefits of UGI are achieved in climates with hot, dry summers, there is comparatively little information available for land managers to determine an appropriate strategy for UGI implementation under these climatic conditions. We present a framework for prioritisation and selection of UGI for cooling. The framework is supported by a review of the scientific literature examining the relationships between urban geometry, UGI and temperature mitigation which we used to develop guidelines for UGI implementation that maximises urban surface temperature cooling. We focus particularly on quantifying the cooling benefits of four types of UGI: green open spaces (primarily public parks), shade trees, green roofs, and vertical greening systems (green walls and facades) and demonstrate how the framework can be applied using a case study from Melbourne, Australia.

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2014-11-11