Global large-scale urbanization has a deep impact on climate change and has brought great challenges to sustainable development, especially in urban agglomerations. At present, there is still a lack of research on the quantitative assessment of the relationship between urban scale and urban expansion and the degree of the urban heat island (UHI) effect, as well as a discussion on mitigation and adaptation of the UHI effect from the perspective of planning. This paper analyzes the regional urbanization process, average surface temperature variation characteristics, surface urban heat island (SUHI), which reflects the intensity of UHI, and the relationship between urban expansion, urban scale, and the UHI in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei (BTH) urban agglomeration using multi-source analysis of data from 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015. The results show that the UHI effect in the study area was significant. The average surface temperature of central areas was the highest, and decreased from central areas to suburbs in the order of central areas > expanding areas > rural residential areas. From the perspective of spatial distribution, in Beijing, the southern part of the study area, the junction of Tianjin, Langfang, and Cangzhou are areas with intense SUHI. The scale and pace of expansion of urban land in Beijing were more than in other cities, the influencing range of SUHI in Beijing increased obviously, and the SUHI of central areas was most intense. The results indicate that due to the larger urban scale of the BTH urban agglomeration, it will face a greater UHI effect. The UHI effect was also more significant in areas of dense distribution in cities within the urban agglomeration. Based on results and existing research, planning suggestions are proposed for central areas with regard to expanding urban areas and suburbs to alleviate the urban heat island effect and improve the resilience of cities to climate change.
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