Globally, the urban heat island (UHI) effect is a major problem which leads to urban residents suffering from adverse urban ecological environments and serious health risks. Understanding the impacts of urban landscape features on the thermal environment has been an important focus across various fields of research. The purpose of this study is to analyze the impacts of urban heat source–sink landscape patterns on urban heat islands, using the fast-growing Zhengzhou City in central China as the case study. Landsat data (captured in 1996, 2006, and 2014), various geospatial approaches, and correlation analysis were applied to facilitate the analysis. Based on the contributions of the urban landscape to land surface temperature (LST), we empirically identified the heat sources and heat sinks. Then, the composition and configurations of heat source and sink landscapes were estimated by a series of spatial metrics at the landscape and class levels. The results showed that the overall mean land surface temperature (LST) in the study area increased by 2.72 °C from 1996 to 2014. This observed increasing trend in overall mean LST is consistent with the process of rapid urbanization in the study area, which was evidenced by the dramatic increase in impervious surfaces and the substantial loss in vegetation cover. Generally, as observed, landscape composition has a stronger influence on LST than does landscape configuration. For heat sources, the proportion, size, aggregation, and density of patches have positive effects on LST, while adjusting the spatial distribution and abundance of urban landscape are effective ways to control the UHI effects. In contrast, the percentage, size, density, and aggregation of heat sink patches have negative effects on LST. Additionally, the effects of increasing total patch edges and shape complexity should be considered when mitigating the UHI effect. These findings are beneficial for furthering our understanding of how urban landscape patterns affect UHI, and they can help optimize urban landscape patterns to alleviate the UHI effect and enhance sustainable development in the study area.
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