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

Description

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

How Do People Perceive Urban Trees? Assessing Likes and Dislikes in Relation to the Trees of a City

Description

Cities are systems that include natural and human-created components. When a city grows without proper planning, it tends to have low environmental quality. If improving environmental quality is intended, people’s opinion should be taken into account for a better acceptance

Cities are systems that include natural and human-created components. When a city grows without proper planning, it tends to have low environmental quality. If improving environmental quality is intended, people’s opinion should be taken into account for a better acceptance of urban management decisions. In this study, we assessed people’s perception of trees by conducting a survey with a controlled sample of citizens from the city of Morelia (west-central Mexico). Citizens liked both native and exotic tree species and rejected mainly exotic ones. Preference for trees were related to tree attributes; such as size. Trees that dropped leaves or tended to fall were not liked. The most-mentioned tree-related benefits were oxygen supply and shade; the most mentioned tree-related damages were accidents and infrastructure damage. The majority of respondents preferred trees near houses to increase tree density. Also, most respondents preferred trees in green areas as well as close to their houses, as they consider that trees provide oxygen. The majority of the respondents thought more trees were needed in the city. In general, our results show that although people perceive that trees in urban areas can cause damages, they often show more interest for the benefits related to trees and consider there should be more trees in cities. We strongly suggest the development of studies that broaden our knowledge of citizen preferences in relation to urban vegetation, and that further policy making takes their perception into account when considering creating new urban green areas, regardless of their type or size.

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Date Created
2014-01-23

Reductions in Air Conditioning Energy Caused by a Nearby Park

Description

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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Date Created
1998-05-27

Cooler Phoenix Research Symposium 2017

Description

ASU faculty and students share research at Phoenix City Hall regarding urban heat, including causes, consequences, and potential solutions.

The video is accessible here.

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  • ASU (Contributor)

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Date Created
2017-09-29

Urban Heat Island Mitigation Strategies: Phoenix

Description

The growing urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon is having detrimental effects on urban populations and must be addressed in planning. The purpose of this research is to investigate the effectiveness of urban heat island effect reduction factors for Metropolitan Phoenix.

The growing urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon is having detrimental effects on urban populations and must be addressed in planning. The purpose of this research is to investigate the effectiveness of urban heat island effect reduction factors for Metropolitan Phoenix. Current strategies, case studies, and the ENVI-Met modeling software were used to finalize conclusions and suggestions to further progress Phoenix’s goals in combating urban heat islands. Results from the studies found that the implementation of green walls and roofs, the integration of wind towers into existing and new construction, improving building energy efficiency, and an establishment of a task force responsible for researching applying UHI strategies to the cities are all expected to halt Phoenix’s progression into a more intense UHI, and to reverse the adverse effects that city development has had on the environment.

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2017-04-12

Seasonal Hydroclimatic Impacts of Sun Corridor Expansion

Description

Conversion of natural to urban land forms imparts influence on local and regional hydroclimate via modification of the surface energy and water balance, and consideration of such effects due to rapidly expanding megapolitan areas is necessary in light of the

Conversion of natural to urban land forms imparts influence on local and regional hydroclimate via modification of the surface energy and water balance, and consideration of such effects due to rapidly expanding megapolitan areas is necessary in light of the growing global share of urban inhabitants. Based on a suite of ensemble-based, multi-year simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, we quantify seasonally varying hydroclimatic impacts of the most rapidly expanding megapolitan area in the US: Arizona's Sun Corridor, centered upon the Greater Phoenix metropolitan area. Using a scenario-based urban expansion approach that accounts for the full range of Sun Corridor growth uncertainty through 2050, we show that built environment induced warming for the maximum development scenario is greatest during the summer season (regionally averaged warming over AZ exceeds 1 °C).

Warming remains significant during the spring and fall seasons (regionally averaged warming over AZ approaches 0.9 °C during both seasons), and is least during the winter season (regionally averaged warming over AZ of 0.5 °C). Impacts from a minimum expansion scenario are reduced, with regionally averaged warming ranging between 0.1 and 0.3 °C for all seasons except winter, when no warming impacts are diagnosed. Integration of highly reflective cool roofs within the built environment, increasingly recognized as a cost-effective option intended to offset the warming influence of urban complexes, reduces urban-induced warming considerably. However, impacts on the hydrologic cycle are aggravated via enhanced evapotranspiration reduction, leading to a 4% total accumulated precipitation decrease relative to the non-adaptive maximum expansion scenario. Our results highlight potentially unintended consequences of this adaptation approach within rapidly expanding megapolitan areas, and emphasize the need for undeniably sustainable development paths that account for hydrologic impacts in addition to continued focus on mean temperature effects.

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Date Created
2012-09-07

Determinants of Changes in the Regional Urban Heat Island in Metropolitan Phoenix (Arizona, USA) Between 1990 and 2004

Description

We investigated the spatial and temporal variation in June mean minimum temperatures for weather stations in and around metropolitan Phoenix, USA, for the period 1990 to 2004. Temperature was related to synoptic conditions, location in urban development zones (DZs), and

We investigated the spatial and temporal variation in June mean minimum temperatures for weather stations in and around metropolitan Phoenix, USA, for the period 1990 to 2004. Temperature was related to synoptic conditions, location in urban development zones (DZs), and the pace of housing construction in a 1 km buffer around fixed-point temperature stations. June is typically clear and calm, and dominated by a dry, tropical air mass with little change in minimum temperature from day to day. However, a dry, moderate weather type accounted for a large portion of the inter-annual variability in mean monthly minimum temperature. Significant temperature variation was explained by surface effects captured by the type of urban DZ, which ranged from urban core and infill sites, to desert and agricultural fringe locations, to exurban. An overall spatial urban effect, derived from the June monthly mean minimum temperature, is in the order of 2 to 4 K. The cumulative housing build-up around weather sites in the region was significant and resulted in average increases of 1.4 K per 1000 home completions, with a standard error of 0.4 K. Overall, minimum temperatures were spatially and temporally accounted for by variations in weather type, type of urban DZ (higher in core and infill), and the number of home completions over the period. Results compare favorably with the magnitude of heating by residential development cited by researchers using differing methodologies in other urban areas.

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2007-02-22

The Social and Spatial Distribution of Temperature-Related Health Impacts From Urban Heat Island Reduction Policies

Description

Cities are developing innovative strategies to combat climate change but there remains little knowledge of the winners and losers from climate-adaptive land use planning and design. We examine the distribution of health benefits associated with land use policies designed to

Cities are developing innovative strategies to combat climate change but there remains little knowledge of the winners and losers from climate-adaptive land use planning and design. We examine the distribution of health benefits associated with land use policies designed to increase vegetation and surface reflectivity in three US metropolitan areas: Atlanta, GA, Philadelphia, PA, and Phoenix, AZ. Projections of population and land cover at the census tract scale were combined with climate models for the year 2050 at 4 km × 4 km resolution to produce future summer temperatures which were input into a comparative risk assessment framework for the temperature-mortality relationship. The findings suggest disparities in the effectiveness of urban heat management strategies by age, income, and race. We conclude that, to be most protective of human health, urban heat management must prioritize areas of greatest population vulnerability.

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Date Created
2016-09-07

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

Description

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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Date Created
2016-10-12

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