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Impact of Material Properties and Urban Geometry on Urban Heat Island Effect

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Utilizing an urban canopy model (UCM) developed by Zhihua Wang, Ph.D. for a research study conducted for the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), several scenarios were run in order to

Utilizing an urban canopy model (UCM) developed by Zhihua Wang, Ph.D. for a research study conducted for the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), several scenarios were run in order to determine the impact on the mitigation of the urban heat island (UHI) effect. These scenarios included various roof albedo, wall albedo, ground albedo, a combination of all three albedos, roof emissivity, wall emissivity, ground emissivity, a combination of all three emissivities, and normalized building height as independent variables. Dependent variables included canyon air temperature, effective ground temperature, effective roof temperature, effective wall temperature, and sensible heat flux. It was found that emissivity does play a part in reducing the different dependent variables; however, typically emissivity values are already within a preferred range that not much can be done with them. Normalized building height has a minor impact but the impact that it does have upon the different variables is lessened with lower values of the normalized building height. Increasing the wall albedo decreased the canyon air temperature and the effective wall temperature the most compared to the other variables when considering expenses. An increase in roof albedo reduced effective roof temperature and sensible heat flux the most when taking into consideration the cost of changing the albedo of the surface. Larger values of ground albedo helped to reduce the effective ground temperature more than the other variables considered when a budget is necessary.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Urban green infrastructure: modelling and implications to environmental sustainability

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The combination of rapid urban growth and climate change places stringent constraints on multisector sustainability of cities. Green infrastructure provides a great potential for mitigating anthropogenic-induced urban environmental problems; nevertheless,

The combination of rapid urban growth and climate change places stringent constraints on multisector sustainability of cities. Green infrastructure provides a great potential for mitigating anthropogenic-induced urban environmental problems; nevertheless, studies at city and regional scales are inhibited by the deficiency in modelling the complex transport coupled water and energy inside urban canopies. This dissertation is devoted to incorporating hydrological processes and urban green infrastructure into an integrated atmosphere-urban modelling system, with the goal to improve the reliability and predictability of existing numerical tools. Based on the enhanced numerical tool, the effects of urban green infrastructure on environmental sustainability of cities are examined.

Findings indicate that the deployment of green roofs will cool the urban environment in daytime and warm it at night, via evapotranspiration and soil insulation. At the annual scale, green roofs are effective in decreasing building energy demands for both summer cooling and winter heating. For cities in arid and semiarid environments, an optimal trade-off between water and energy resources can be achieved via innovative design of smart urban irrigation schemes, enabled by meticulous analysis of the water-energy nexus. Using water-saving plants alleviates water shortage induced by population growth, but comes at the price of an exacerbated urban thermal environment. Realizing the potential water buffering capacity of urban green infrastructure is crucial for the long-term water sustainability and subsequently multisector sustainability of cities. Environmental performance of urban green infrastructure is determined by land-atmosphere interactions, geographic and meteorological conditions, and hence it is recommended that analysis should be conducted on a city-by-city basis before actual implementation of green infrastructure.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016