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Using green infrastructure for urban climate-proofing : An evaluation of heat mitigation measures at the micro-scale

Zölch, Teresa; Maderspacher, Johannes; Wamsler, Christine LU and Pauleit, Stephan (2016) In Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 20. p.305-316
Abstract

Urban green infrastructure (UGI) has been increasingly promoted as a key measure to mitigate heat stress in cities caused by the urban heat island effect and climate change impacts, including climate variability and extremes. However, comparable information concerning the performance of different UGI types to moderate such impacts is mostly lacking. This creates serious challenges for urban planners who need to decide on the most effective measures while considering spatial and administrative constraints. This study investigates how different types and quantities of UGI, i.e. trees, green roofs, and green facades, affect pedestrian thermal comfort. The study was applied to high-density residential areas under current and future climatic... (More)

Urban green infrastructure (UGI) has been increasingly promoted as a key measure to mitigate heat stress in cities caused by the urban heat island effect and climate change impacts, including climate variability and extremes. However, comparable information concerning the performance of different UGI types to moderate such impacts is mostly lacking. This creates serious challenges for urban planners who need to decide on the most effective measures while considering spatial and administrative constraints. This study investigates how different types and quantities of UGI, i.e. trees, green roofs, and green facades, affect pedestrian thermal comfort. The study was applied to high-density residential areas under current and future climatic conditions. Climate change will on average increase afternoon Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET) values by 2.4 K; however, this could be vastly reduced by different UGI scenarios. Planting trees had the strongest impact with an average PET reduction of 13% compared with existing vegetation. Trees shade open spaces and provide evapotranspirative cooling. Another valuable adaptation option is green facades, which have mitigating effects of 5%–10%. In contrast, the effects of green roofs were negligible. Our results indicate that increasing the share of green cover did not directly correspond to the magnitude of the PET reduction. Placing vegetation strategically in heat-exposed areas is more effective than just aiming at a high percentage of green cover. We conclude that our extensive comparative analysis provides empirical evidence to support UGI on the micro-scale and assists planners and decision-makers to effectively select and prioritise concrete measures to adapt to climate change.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Climate change adaptation, Ecosystem services, ENVI-met modelling, Naturebased solutions, Thermal comfort
in
Urban Forestry and Urban Greening
volume
20
pages
12 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:84991491187
  • wos:000391471000034
ISSN
1618-8667
DOI
10.1016/j.ufug.2016.09.011
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
89a21186-a84e-4b7b-b1bb-5446e2483102
date added to LUP
2016-10-28 08:29:15
date last changed
2017-09-18 11:28:30
@article{89a21186-a84e-4b7b-b1bb-5446e2483102,
  abstract     = {<p>Urban green infrastructure (UGI) has been increasingly promoted as a key measure to mitigate heat stress in cities caused by the urban heat island effect and climate change impacts, including climate variability and extremes. However, comparable information concerning the performance of different UGI types to moderate such impacts is mostly lacking. This creates serious challenges for urban planners who need to decide on the most effective measures while considering spatial and administrative constraints. This study investigates how different types and quantities of UGI, i.e. trees, green roofs, and green facades, affect pedestrian thermal comfort. The study was applied to high-density residential areas under current and future climatic conditions. Climate change will on average increase afternoon Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET) values by 2.4 K; however, this could be vastly reduced by different UGI scenarios. Planting trees had the strongest impact with an average PET reduction of 13% compared with existing vegetation. Trees shade open spaces and provide evapotranspirative cooling. Another valuable adaptation option is green facades, which have mitigating effects of 5%–10%. In contrast, the effects of green roofs were negligible. Our results indicate that increasing the share of green cover did not directly correspond to the magnitude of the PET reduction. Placing vegetation strategically in heat-exposed areas is more effective than just aiming at a high percentage of green cover. We conclude that our extensive comparative analysis provides empirical evidence to support UGI on the micro-scale and assists planners and decision-makers to effectively select and prioritise concrete measures to adapt to climate change.</p>},
  author       = {Zölch, Teresa and Maderspacher, Johannes and Wamsler, Christine and Pauleit, Stephan},
  issn         = {1618-8667},
  keyword      = {Climate change adaptation,Ecosystem services,ENVI-met modelling,Naturebased solutions,Thermal comfort},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  pages        = {305--316},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Urban Forestry and Urban Greening},
  title        = {Using green infrastructure for urban climate-proofing : An evaluation of heat mitigation measures at the micro-scale},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2016.09.011},
  volume       = {20},
  year         = {2016},
}