Creating the Park Cool Island in an Inner-City Neighborhood: Heat Mitigation Strategy for Phoenix, AZ
We conducted microclimate simulations in ENVI-Met 3.1 to evaluate the impact of vegetation in lowering temperatures during an extreme heat event in an urban core neighborhood park in Phoenix, Arizona. We predicted air and surface temperatures under two different vegetation regimes: existing conditions representative of Phoenix urban core neighborhoods, and a proposed scenario informed by principles of landscape design and architecture and Urban Heat Island mitigation strategies. We found significant potential air and surface temperature reductions between representative and proposed vegetation scenarios:
1. A Park Cool Island effect that extended to non-vegetated surfaces.
2. A net cooling of air underneath or around canopied vegetation ranging from 0.9 °C to 1.9 °C during the warmest time of the day.
3. Potential reductions in surface temperatures from 0.8 °C to 8.4 °C in areas underneath or around vegetation.