This study investigated the diurnal thermal behavior of several urban surfaces and landscape components, including pavements, vegetation, and a water pond. The field experiment was conducted in a university campus of Guangzhou, South China, which is characterized by a hot and humid summer. The temperature of ground surface and grass leaves and the air temperature and humidity from 0.1 to 1.5 m heights were measured for a period of 24 h under hot summer conditions. The results showed that the concrete and granite slab pavements elevated the temperature of the air above them throughout the day. In contrast, the trees and the pond lowered the air temperature near ground during the daytime but produced a slight warming effect during the nighttime. The influence of vegetation on air temperature and humidity is affected by the configurations of greenery. Compared to the open lawn, the grass shaded by trees was more effective in cooling and the mixture of shrub and grass created a stronger cooling effect during the nighttime. The knowledge of thermal behavior of various urban surfaces and landscape components is an important tool for planners and designers. If utilized properly, it can lead to climatic rehabilitation in urban areas and an improvement of the outdoor thermal environment.
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