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Energies 2017, 10(12), 2151; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10122151

The Impact of Urban Design Descriptors on Outdoor Thermal Environment: A Literature Review

1
Department of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
2
Cities Research Institute, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD 4215, Australia
3
Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117566, Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 October 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 15 December 2017
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Abstract

This paper presents a literature review on urban design indicators addressing the impact of urban geometry and vegetation on the outdoor thermal environment at the pedestrian level, as urban geometry and vegetation have been regarded as the most influential urban design factors that affect outdoor microclimate. The thermal balance concept is first introduced to elaborate how each component of energy fluxes is affected by the urban built environment, which helps to explore the underlying thermophysical mechanisms of how urban design modifies the outdoor thermal environment. The literature on numerous urban design descriptors addressing urban geometric characteristics is categorized into five groups in this paper according to the design features that the parameters entail, including land use intensity, building form, canyon geometry, space enclosure and descriptive characteristics. The literature on urban vegetation descriptors is reviewed together, followed by the combined effect of urban geometry and vegetation. This paper identifies a series of important urban design parameters and shows that the impact of design parameters on thermal environment varies with time, season, local climate and urban contexts. Contradictory impacts often occur between daytime and nighttime, or different seasons, which requests trade-offs to be achieved when proposing design strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: outdoor thermal environment; urban microclimate; urban heat island (UHI); urban geometry; vegetation; urban design; thermal balance outdoor thermal environment; urban microclimate; urban heat island (UHI); urban geometry; vegetation; urban design; thermal balance
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Lin, P.; Gou, Z.; Lau, S. .-Y.; Qin, H. The Impact of Urban Design Descriptors on Outdoor Thermal Environment: A Literature Review. Energies 2017, 10, 2151.

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