Special Issue "Urban Thermal Environment under Global Warming Pressure"

A special issue of Urban Science (ISSN 2413-8851).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Panagiotis Nastos

Director of Laboratory of Climatology and Atmospheric Environment, Department of Geography & Climatology; Faculty of Geology & Geoenvironment, School of Sciences, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, University Campus, GR 15784, Athens, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +30-21-0727-4191
Interests: climate variability; extreme weather and climate; urban heat island; human biometeorology; urban microclimate; outdoor thermal comfort; urban environment and human health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urban agglomerations combine into one body, the cause and the impact, simultaneously. The cause, on one hand, is that the urban environment is itself responsible for the modification of the microclimate via heat release (urban heat island) and air polluting emissions due to anthropogenic activities. On the other hand, the greenhouse effect is forcing a warmer climate, and it exacerbates the already adverse environmental conditions in a city. The impact triggered by the aforementioned causes concerns the quality of life and public health. Thus, it is clear that urban areas influence/control the final state of the thermal environment by means of intensifying extreme weather, such as strong heat stress, convective precipitation, and poor air quality. Given that the thermal urban environment cannot be assessed and quantified by utilizing only one meteorological parameter, such as air temperature, the implementation of complex thermal indices, based on the human energy balance model, should be considered to reach reliable results. Towards this objective, this Special Issue aims at compiling state-of-the-art work from researchers who focus, but not exclusively so, on the assessment of present and future biometeorological simulations of thermal urban environments and, especially, open areas in a city. In particular, this Special Issue welcomes theoretical and experimental research articles on the following themes, although progress reports on relevant research issues are also acceptable:

  • Thermal comfort on the built environment and urban landscapes
  • Experimental techniques and biometeorological measurements in an urban area
  • Remote sensing methodologies (drones, LiDARs and satellites) on urban climatology
  • Urban design and planning towards sustainable cities
  • Urban heat island and mitigation strategies
  • Global warming and resilience plans for cities
  • Modeling of thermal urban environment
  • Early warning systems of heat and cold waves designed for urban environments
  • Green cities
  • Public health and extreme weather (heat and cold waves) in a city
  • Air quality and thermal comfort in a city

Prof. Dr. Panagiotis Nastos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Urban Science is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • urban heat island
  • heat stress
  • human biometeorology
  • global warming forcing
  • convective weather
  • adaptation and resilience
  • early warning systems
  • green policies

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle The Urban Heat Island Effect in the City of Valencia: A Case Study for Hot Summer Days
Urban Sci. 2017, 1(1), 9; doi:10.3390/urbansci1010009
Received: 21 December 2016 / Revised: 2 February 2017 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 16 February 2017
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Abstract
Extreme heat poses significant risks to the world’s growing urban population, and the heat stress to human health is likely to escalate with the anthropogenically increased temperatures projected by climate models. Thus, the additional heat from the urban heat island (UHI) effect needs
[...] Read more.
Extreme heat poses significant risks to the world’s growing urban population, and the heat stress to human health is likely to escalate with the anthropogenically increased temperatures projected by climate models. Thus, the additional heat from the urban heat island (UHI) effect needs to be quantified, including the spatial pattern. This study focuses on the city of Valencia (Spain), investigating the intensity and spatial pattern of UHI during three consecutive hot summer days accompanying a heat record. For the analysis, long-term in situ measurements and remote sensing data were combined. The UHI effect was evaluated using two approaches: (a) based on air temperature (AT) time-series from two meteorological stations and (b) using land surface temperature (LST) images from MODIS products by NASA with 1 km resolution. The strongest nighttime UHI estimated from AT was 2.3 °C, while the most intense surface UHI calculated as the difference between the LST of urban and rural regions (defined by NDVI) was 2.6 °C—both measured during the night after the record hot day. To assess the human thermal comfort in the city the Discomfort Index was applied. With the increasing number of tropical nights, the mitigation of nighttime UHI is a pressing issue that should be taken into consideration in climate-resilient urban planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Thermal Environment under Global Warming Pressure)
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Open AccessArticle Estimation of Particulate Matter Impact on Human Health within the Urban Environment of Athens City, Greece
Urban Sci. 2017, 1(1), 6; doi:10.3390/urbansci1010006
Received: 13 November 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 14 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
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Abstract
The main objective of this work is the assessment of the annual number of hospital admissions for respiratory diseases (HARD) due to the exposure to inhalable particulate matter (PM10), within the greater Athens area (GAA), Greece. To achieve this aim, on
[...] Read more.
The main objective of this work is the assessment of the annual number of hospital admissions for respiratory diseases (HARD) due to the exposure to inhalable particulate matter (PM10), within the greater Athens area (GAA), Greece. To achieve this aim, on the one hand, time series of the particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than 10 μm (PM10) recorded in six monitoring stations located in the GAA, for a 13-year period 2001–2013, have been statistically analyzed. On the other hand, the AirQ2.2.3 software developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) was used to evaluate adverse health effects by PM10 in the GAA during the examined period. The results show that, during the examined period, PM10 concentrations present a significant decreasing trend. Also, the mean annual HARD cases per 100,000 inhabitants ranged between 20 (suburban area) and 40 (city center area). Approximately 70% of the annual HARD cases are due to city center residents. In all examined sites, a declining trend in the annual number of HARD cases appears. Moreover, a strong relation between the annual number of HARD cases and the annual number of days exceeding the European Union daily PM10 threshold value was found. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Thermal Environment under Global Warming Pressure)
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Open AccessArticle Urban Heat Island Intensification during Hot Spells—The Case of Paris during the Summer of 2003
Urban Sci. 2017, 1(1), 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci1010003
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 24 November 2016
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Abstract
Heat waves are projected to become more frequent, longer-lasting, and intense. At the same time, urban areas are confronted with the urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon, which adds to the thermal stress experienced during hot spells. Focusing on the Paris area during the
[...] Read more.
Heat waves are projected to become more frequent, longer-lasting, and intense. At the same time, urban areas are confronted with the urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon, which adds to the thermal stress experienced during hot spells. Focusing on the Paris area during the hot summer of 2003, we investigated the influence of heat waves on UHI intensity, i.e., the urban-rural temperature contrast. In a first step, this was done based on observed temperatures from an urban and a rural site, showing that per C increase in the daytime temperature, the nighttime UHI intensity increased by 0.086 C. Recognizing the limited spatial representativeness of the urban experimental site, located in a park, we then performed simulations with an urban climate model, covering the wider Paris area for the summer of 2003. First, a validation was done using the aforementioned temperature measurements to do so. Subsequently, we estimated the sensitivity of the nighttime UHI intensity with respect to the daytime temperature, this time using simulated temperatures of the densely built-up areas in the center of Paris, yielding an increase of UHI intensity of 0.19 C per C increase in the daytime temperature. While these results only apply to the domain and period studied, they do confirm recent reports that the UHI intensity increases during heat waves. The results also show that for the cooler parts of the urban fabric (e.g., parks), the UHI intensification during heat waves is around half of that of the dense urban fabric, thus providing some insights into possible mitigation strategies for the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Thermal Environment under Global Warming Pressure)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Characterising Urban Influences on Nocturnal Mixing and Dispersion Using Radon-222
Authors: S.D. Chambers 1, A. Podstawczyńska 2, A.D. Griffiths 1 and A.G. Williams 1
Affiliations: 1 Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Locked Bag 2001, Kirrawee DC, NSW 2232, Australia
2 University of Łódź, Faculty of Geographical Sciences, Department of Meteorology and Climatology, Narutowicza 88, 90-139 Łódź, Poland
Abstract: Although urban environments presently constitute only 2%-3% of the global land area, they are home to more than half of the global population and are responsible for a disproportionately large fraction of anthropogenic emissions to the global atmosphere. Contrasts in surface characteristics between urban and rural or natively-vegetated regions give rise to considerable changes in the net radiation available at the surface (through the surface radiation balance) and how this available energy is subsequently redistributed at the surface-atmosphere interface (through the surface energy budget). The combination of increased surface roughness and greater partitioning of net radiation into convective heating have the potential to modify atmospheric mixing characteristics across the whole diurnal cycle. In this study we use a recently-developed radon-based nocturnal stability classification technique (Chambers et al. 2015) to characterise the local (~50 km radius) atmospheric mixing state, and then investigate how a compact (10-15 km diameter) urban centre (population ca 750,000) perturbs these conditions as a function of the local stability.

Four years (2008-2011) of paired hourly near-surface meteorological and atmospheric radon measurements from adjacent urban and rural sites were analyzed. The urban station was located in the centre of Lodz, the 3rd largest city in Poland. The rural station was located 25 km to the north, in the district of Ciosny, and is representative of typical agricultural land with low vegetation and sparse dwellings. Near-surface wind speeds were generally lower in the urban centre than in the rural region during all seasons due to the increased roughness of the city. The only exception to this rule was in summer and spring, under the most stable nocturnal conditions, when wind speeds were higher within the urban region. An analysis of wind directions confirmed that the increase in urban wind speeds under these conditions (when urban heat island intensity also achieved its highest values) was as a result of an “urban breeze” circulation developing. Wind is a crucial mechanism to “flush” pollutants and excess heat from the urban centre; we demonstrate an ability to accurately characterize the relationship between the urban wind speed and the urban heat island intensity. Based on rates of nocturnal radon accumulation, and a simple column model (Griffiths et al. 2013), nocturnal mixing heights over the rural area were estimated to vary from 20m under stable conditions to ~80m under weakly stable conditions. By comparison, corresponding mixing depths over the urban centre were generally deeper and more consistent, ranging from only ~60 to 80m. Furthermore, using radon (which has an exclusive surface-based source) as a proxy for primary pollutant concentrations, we demonstrate the enhanced ability of the urban boundary layer to dilute and disperse locally-generated pollution in all but the most well-mixed atmospheric conditions.
References: Chambers, S.D., A.G. Williams, J. Crawford and A.D. Griffiths: On the use of radon for quantifying the effects of atmospheric stability on urban emissions, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 1175-1190, 2015.
Griffiths, A.D., S.D. Parkes, S.D., Chambers, M.F. McCabe and A.G. Williams: Improved mixing height monitoring through a combination of lidar and radon measurements, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 6, 207-218, 2013.

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