The Urban Heat Island (UHI) phenomenon, namely urban areas where the atmospheric temperature is significantly higher than in the surrounding rural areas, is currently a very well-known topic both in the scientific community and in public debates. Growing urbanization is one of the anthropic causes of UHI. The UHI phenomenon has a negative impact on the life quality of the local population (thermal discomfort, summer thermal shock, etc.), thus investigations and analyses on this topic are really useful and important for correct and sustainable urban planning; this study is included in this context. A multi-temporal analysis was performed in the municipality of Modena (Italy) to identify and estimate the Surface Urban Heat Island (SUHI, strictly correlated to the UHI phenomenon) from 2014 to 2017. For this purpose, Landsat-8 satellite images were processed with Quantum Geographic Information System (QGIS) to obtain the Land Surface Temperature (LST) and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). For every pixel, LST and NDVI values of three regions of interest (ROI, i.e., Countryside, Suburbs, and City Center) were extracted and their correlations were investigated. A maximum variation of 6.4 °C in the LST values between City Center and Countryside was highlighted, confirming the presence of the SUHI phenomenon even in a medium-sized municipality like Modena. The implemented procedure demonstrates that satellite data are suitable for SUHI identification and estimation, therefore it could be a useful tool for public administration for urban planning policies.
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