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Screening of Tree Species for Improving Outdoor Human Thermal Comfort in a Taiwanese City

Program of Landscape and Recreation, National Chung Hsing University, 145 Xingda Rd., Taichung 402, Taiwan
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Academic Editor: Karsten Grunewald
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9030340
Received: 24 December 2016 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintaining Ecosystem Services to Support Urban Needs)
Tropical cities can use urban greening designs featuring trees that provide shade and cooling in hot outdoor environments. The cooling effect involves numerous tree characteristics that are not easy to control during planting design, such as the canopy size and the optical properties of leaves. Planting the appropriate tree species dominates the cooling effects and the human thermal environment. Based on environmental and plant data, including the tree species, crown diameter of trees, physiologically equivalent temperature (PET), and sky view factor (SVF) in an outdoor space, a series of hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) procedures was implemented to identify the tree species that are appropriate for improving thermal comfort. The results indicated strong correlations between SVF, average crown diameter, and PET. SVF decreased as the average crown diameter increased. For the average crown diameter of trees in an area wider than 1.5 m, the cooling effect was especially dominated by the tree species. Therefore, 15 species were screened by HCA procedures, based on a similar cooling effect. These species had various cooling effects, and were divided into four categories. Tree species, such as Spathodea campanulata and Cinnamomum camphora, had the appropriate crown diameter and cooling effect for the most comfortable thermal environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: tree crown diameter; sky view factor (SVF); physiologically equivalent temperature (PET); thermal comfort; tree planting design; urban greening tree crown diameter; sky view factor (SVF); physiologically equivalent temperature (PET); thermal comfort; tree planting design; urban greening
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Lin, Y.-H.; Tsai, K.-T. Screening of Tree Species for Improving Outdoor Human Thermal Comfort in a Taiwanese City. Sustainability 2017, 9, 340.

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