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Open AccessArticle

Urbanisation-Induced Land Cover Temperature Dynamics for Sustainable Future Urban Heat Island Mitigation

Geography and Environment, The University of Southampton, University Road, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
UWA School of Agriculture and Environment, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Urban Sci. 2017, 1(4), 38;
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Island and Mitigation Technologies—Impact and Mitigation)
PDF [2988 KB, uploaded 2 December 2017]


Urban land cover is one of the fastest global growing land cover types which permanently alters land surface properties and atmospheric interactions, often initiating an urban heat island effect. Urbanisation comprises a number of land cover changes within metropolitan regions. However, these complexities have been somewhat neglected in temperature analysis studies of the urban heat island effect, whereby over-simplification ignores the heterogeneity of urban surfaces and associated land surface temperature dynamics. Accurate spatial information pertaining to these land cover change—temperature relationships across space is essential for policy integration regarding future sustainable city planning to mitigate urban heat impacts. Through a multi-sensor approach, this research disentangles the complex spatial heterogeneous variations between changes in land cover (Landsat data) and land surface temperature (MODIS data), to understand the urban heat island effect dynamics in greater detail for appropriate policy integration. The application area is the rapidly expanding Perth Metropolitan Region (PMR) in Western Australia (WA). Results indicate that land cover change from forest to urban is associated with the greatest annual daytime and nighttime temperature change of 0.40 °C and 0.88 °C respectively. Conversely, change from grassland to urban minimises temperature change at 0.16 °C and 0.77 °C for annual daytime and nighttime temperature respectively. These findings are important to consider for proposed developments of the city as such detail is not currently considered in the urban growth plans for the PMR. The novel intra-urban research approach presented can be applied to other global metropolitan regions to facilitate future transition towards sustainable cities, whereby urban heat impacts can be better managed through optimised land use planning, moving cities towards alignment with the 2030 sustainable development goals and the City Resilience Framework (CRF). View Full-Text
Keywords: urban heat island; land cover change; sustainable development; impact; policy urban heat island; land cover change; sustainable development; impact; policy

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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    Doi: DOI: 10.1594/PANGAEA.871017.
    Description: The classified Landsat data reported in this paper are archived at the Pangea open access data publisher for earth and environmental science.

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MacLachlan, A.; Biggs, E.; Roberts, G.; Boruff, B. Urbanisation-Induced Land Cover Temperature Dynamics for Sustainable Future Urban Heat Island Mitigation. Urban Sci. 2017, 1, 38.

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