Special Issue "Urban Heat Islands"

A special issue of Climate (ISSN 2225-1154).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2020) | Viewed by 19765

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Clare Heaviside
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Climate Research, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
Interests: climate change; urban climate; urban heat island; climate and health; air pollution; heatwaves; climate change impacts and attribution; meteorology; ocean and atmosphere interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Towns and cities are generally a few degrees warmer than rural areas, as a result of the urban heat island (UHI) effect. This urban heat has negative impacts on health, interacts with air pollution, and puts extra pressure on energy systems to deliver cooling. The UHI phenomenon is well known, but the exact characteristics are particular to each city or urbanised area, and vary by geographical location. Globally, urban populations are rapidly growing, and temperatures are rising because of climate change. It is therefore important to fully understand the UHI if we are to be able to manage potential harmful impacts.

We invite papers for this Special Issue on the following broad themes:

  1. Characterizing the UHI
  2. Impacts of the UHI and interactions with the environment
  3. Mitigation and adaptation

Submissions can include observational or modelling studies of the UHI for all parts of the world, and in different climatic zones. We welcome papers on interactions between urban climate and land surfaces, air quality, local weather, and extreme weather events. We are interested in the impacts of the UHI; mitigation and adaptation in terms of UHI intensity and climate change; and interventions on building or urban scales, including land use changes and green infrastructure.   

Dr. Clare Heaviside
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • urban climate and meteorology
  • impacts of urban heat
  • mitigating the UHI effect
  • green infrastructure
  • health impacts
  • climate change
  • heatwaves and extreme weather
  • interaction between UHI and air pollution
  • urban interventions
  • climate change adaptation
  • health co-benefits
  • land use

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Urban Morphological Controls on Surface Thermal Dynamics: A Comparative Assessment of Major European Cities with a Focus on Athens, Greece
Climate 2020, 8(11), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8110131 - 11 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1297
Abstract
Variations in urban form lead to the development of distinctive intra-urban surface thermal patterns. Previous assessment of the relation between urban structure and satellite-based Land Surface Temperature (LST) has generally been limited to single-city cases. Here, examining 25 European cities (June–August 2017), we [...] Read more.
Variations in urban form lead to the development of distinctive intra-urban surface thermal patterns. Previous assessment of the relation between urban structure and satellite-based Land Surface Temperature (LST) has generally been limited to single-city cases. Here, examining 25 European cities (June–August 2017), we estimated the statistical association between surface parameters—the impervious fraction (λimp), the building fraction (λb), and the building height (H)—and the neighborhood scale (1000 × 1000 m) LST variations, as captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor. Correlation analysis, multiple linear regression, and spatial regression were used. As expected, λimp had a consistent positive influence on LSTs. In contrast, the relation of LST with λb and H was generally weaker or negative in the daytime, whereas at night it shifted to a robust positive effect. In particular, daytime LSTs of densely built, high-rise European districts tended to have lower values. This was especially the case for the city of Athens, Greece, where a more focused analysis was conducted, using further surface parameters and the Local Climate Zone (LCZ) scheme. For the urban core of the city, the canyon aspect ratio H/W had a statistically significant (p <0.01) negative relationship with LST by day (Spearman’s rho = −0.68) and positive during nighttime (rho = 0.45). The prevailing intra-urban surface thermal variability in Athens was well reproduced by a 5-day numerical experiment using the meteorological Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) model and a modified urban parameterization scheme. Although the simulation resulted in some systematic errors, the overall accuracy of the model was adequate, regarding the surface temperature (RMSE = 2.4 K) and the near-surface air temperature (RMSE = 1.7 K) estimations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Islands)
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Article
Willingness to Pay for Urban Heat Island Mitigation: A Case Study of Singapore
Climate 2020, 8(7), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8070082 - 27 Jun 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2972
Abstract
In many countries, urban heat island (UHI) effects come along with urbanization in metropolitan areas. They have relevant adverse effects on the health and wellbeing of citizens. Singapore is strongly affected by UHI. In this study, we assess Singaporeans’ willingness to pay (WTP) [...] Read more.
In many countries, urban heat island (UHI) effects come along with urbanization in metropolitan areas. They have relevant adverse effects on the health and wellbeing of citizens. Singapore is strongly affected by UHI. In this study, we assess Singaporeans’ willingness to pay (WTP) for UHI mitigation by implementing a contingent valuation analysis. Specifically, we employ a double-bounded dichotomous survey design on a representative sample of 1822 online respondents. We find that Singaporeans are willing to sacrifice on average 0.43% of their annual income to mitigate UHI. The total WTP for mitigation strategies among Singapore citizens and permanent residents is estimated at SGD$783.08 million per year, the equivalent of USD$563.80 per year. Our findings suggest that there is a positive and significant relationship between the size of UHI effects and the citizens’ WTP. People living in the region with the highest intensity of UHI are willing to pay 3.09 times more than those living in the region with the lowest UHI intensity. Furthermore, demographic and socio-economic characteristics are significant determinants of Singaporeans’ WTP. The WTP increases with income and education but decreases with age. Students, men, and people with children are willing to pay more. Additional analyses show that the level of UHI awareness, positive attitudes towards UHI mitigation strategies as well as preferences for outdoor activities are positively correlated with the WTP. Our findings suggest that citizens are aware of the impacts of UHI and support UHI mitigation measures to be financed by their taxes. Policy interventions to promote UHI-related education and disseminating UHI-related information might increase the support of UHI mitigation policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Islands)
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Article
Spatial Process of Surface Urban Heat Island in Rapidly Growing Seoul Metropolitan Area for Sustainable Urban Planning Using Landsat Data (1996–2017)
Climate 2019, 7(9), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7090110 - 11 Sep 2019
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 2393
Abstract
The urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon is an important research topic in the scholarly community. There are only few research studies related to the UHI in the Seoul metropolitan area (SMA). Therefore, this study examined the impact of urbanization on the formation of [...] Read more.
The urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon is an important research topic in the scholarly community. There are only few research studies related to the UHI in the Seoul metropolitan area (SMA). Therefore, this study examined the impact of urbanization on the formation of UHI in the SMA as a geospatial study by using Landsat data from 1996, 2006, and 2017. For this purpose, we analyzed the relative variation of land surface temperature (LST) with changes of land use/land cover (LULC) rather than absolute values of LST using gradient, intensity, and directional analyses. It was observed that the impervious surface (IS) has expanded, and the UHI effect was more penetrating in the study area, with considerable loss of other LULC including green surfaces along with the rapid urbanization of the study area. In this study, we divided the IS into persistent IS (PIS) and newly added IS (NAIS). The spatial distribution of the IS, forest surface (FS), PIS, and NAIS was observed based on gradient zones (GZs). The results show that GZ1 recorded a difference of 6.0 °C when compared with the GZ109 in 2017. The results also show that the city center was warmer than the surrounding areas during the period of study. Results reveal that the mean LST has a strong significant positive relationship with a fraction of IS and PIS in 2006 and 2017. On other hand, the mean LST has a strong negative relationship with a fraction of FS and NAIS in the same time points. Relatively low temperatures were recorded in FS and NAIS in both time points. Further, it was proved that the local climate of the SMA and its surroundings had been affected by the UHI effect. Therefore, urban planners of the SMA should seriously consider the issue and plan to mitigate the effect by improving the green surfaces of the city. More greening-oriented concepts are recommended in both horizontal and vertical directions of the SMA, that can be used to control the negative impact associated with UHI. The overall outputs of the study could be used as a proxy indicator for the sustainability of the SMA and its surroundings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Islands)
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Article
Land-Use/Land-Cover Changes and Their Impact on Surface Urban Heat Islands: Case Study of Kandy City, Sri Lanka
Climate 2019, 7(8), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7080099 - 14 Aug 2019
Cited by 48 | Viewed by 4153
Abstract
An urban heat island (UHI) is a phenomenon that shows a higher temperature in urban areas compared to surrounding rural areas due to the impact of impervious surface (IS) density, and other anthropogenic activities including changes of land use/land cover (LULC). The purpose [...] Read more.
An urban heat island (UHI) is a phenomenon that shows a higher temperature in urban areas compared to surrounding rural areas due to the impact of impervious surface (IS) density, and other anthropogenic activities including changes of land use/land cover (LULC). The purpose of this research is to examine the spatiotemporal land-use/land-cover changes and their impact on the surface UHI (SUHI) in Kandy City, Sri Lanka, using Landsat data and geospatial techniques. LULC classification was made by using a pixel-oriented supervised classification method, and LULC changes were computed by using a cross-cover comparison. The SUHI effect was discussed mainly through the variation of land-surface temperature (LST) over persistent IS and newly added IS. The study showed the dynamics of each LULC and its role in the SUHI. The results showed that IS areas expanded from 529 to 1514 ha (2.3% to 6.7% of the total land area) between 1996 and 2006, and to 5833 ha (23.9% of the total land area) in 2017, with an annual growth rate of 11.1% per year from 1996 to 2006 and 12.2% per year from 2006 to 2017. A gradually declining trend was observed in forest areas. Persistent IS reported the highest mean LST areas compared to newly added IS. The mean LST difference between persistent IS and newly added IS was 1.43 °C over the study period. This is because areas of persistent IS are typically surrounded by IS even in their neighborhoods, whereas areas of newly added IS occur at the edges of the city and are, therefore, cooled by the surrounding nonurban surfaces. This calls for appropriate green-oriented landscape-management methods to mitigate the impact of the SUHI in Kandy City. The findings of the study showed that LULC changes and their effect on the SUHI from 1996 to 2017 made a significant contribution to long records of change dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Islands)
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Article
Spatiotemporal Analysis of Diurnal Temperature Range: Effect of Urbanization, Cloud Cover, Solar Radiation, and Precipitation
Climate 2019, 7(7), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7070089 - 06 Jul 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3047
Abstract
High daily temperatures in the Mediterranean and Europe have been documented in observation and modeling studies. Long-term temperature data, from 1988 to 2017, from a suburban station and an urban station in Nicosia, Cyprus have been analyzed, and the diurnal temperature range (DTR) [...] Read more.
High daily temperatures in the Mediterranean and Europe have been documented in observation and modeling studies. Long-term temperature data, from 1988 to 2017, from a suburban station and an urban station in Nicosia, Cyprus have been analyzed, and the diurnal temperature range (DTR) trend was investigated. The seasonal Mann–Kendall test revealed a decreasing DTR trend of −0.24 °C/decade at the urban station and −0.36 °C/decade at the suburban station, which were attributed to an increase in the daily minimum temperature. Variations in precipitation, longwave radiation, ultraviolet-A (UVA), ultraviolet-B (UVB), cloud cover, water vapor, and urbanization were used to assess their possible relationship with regional DTR. The clustering of daytime and night-time data showed a strong relationship between the DTR and observed cloud cover, net longwave radiation, and precipitation. Clouds associated with smaller shortwave and net longwave radiation reduce the DTR by decreasing the surface solar radiation, while atmospheric absolute humidity denotes an increased daytime surface evaporative cooling and higher absorption of the short and longwave radiation. The intra-cluster variation could be reduced, and the inter-cluster variance increased by the addition of other meteorological parameters and anthropogenic sources that affect DTR in order to develop a quantitative basis for assessing DTR variations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Islands)
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Article
Integrating Urban Form, Function, and Energy Fluxes in a Heat Exposure Indicator in View of Intra-Urban Heat Island Assessment and Climate Change Adaptation
Climate 2019, 7(6), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7060075 - 28 May 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2853
Abstract
Cities worldwide are getting warmer due to the combined effects of urban heat and climate change. To this end, local policy makers need to identify the most thermally vulnerable areas within cities. The Local Climate Zone (LCZ) scheme highlights local-scale variations; however, its [...] Read more.
Cities worldwide are getting warmer due to the combined effects of urban heat and climate change. To this end, local policy makers need to identify the most thermally vulnerable areas within cities. The Local Climate Zone (LCZ) scheme highlights local-scale variations; however, its classes, although highly valuable, are to a certain extent generalized in order to be universally applicable. High spatial resolution indicators have the potential to better reflect city-specific challenges; in this paper, the Urban Heat Exposure (UHeatEx) indicator is developed, integrating the physical processes that drive the urban heat island (UHI). In particular, the urban form is modeled using remote sensing and geographical information system (GIS) techniques, and used to estimate the canyon aspect ratio and the storage heat flux. The Bowen ratio is calculated using the aerodynamic resistance methodology and downscaled remotely sensed surface temperatures. The anthropogenic heat flux is estimated via a synergy of top–down and bottom–up inventory approaches. UHeatEx is applied to the city of Athens, Greece; it is correlated to air temperature measurements and compared to the LCZs classification. The results reveal that UHeatEx has the capacity to better reflect the strong intra-urban variability of the thermal environment in Athens, and thus can be supportive for adaptation responses. High-resolution climate projections from the EURO-CORDEX ensemble for the region show that the adverse effects of the existing thermal inequity are expected to worsen in the coming decades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Islands)
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Article
Intraurban Temperature Variations: Urban Morphologies of the Densification Process of Copacabana Neighborhood, Brazil
Climate 2019, 7(5), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7050065 - 06 May 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1875
Abstract
The idea of compact cities is attracting enthusiasts, and some have proposed sustainable options for its implementation. This concept is based on planning for higher density cities with efficient connectivity in their structures. Because climatic characteristics are one of the basic factors to [...] Read more.
The idea of compact cities is attracting enthusiasts, and some have proposed sustainable options for its implementation. This concept is based on planning for higher density cities with efficient connectivity in their structures. Because climatic characteristics are one of the basic factors to consider when planning a town, the models imported from different climates of Brazil must be intensely scrutinized and analyzed for their adequacy and effectiveness. Previous studies have revealed the inadequacy of the compact city model for tropical countries. In this study, the Copacabana neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, a city that is currently compact, was assessed using computational tools (ENVI-met) to observe the intraurban temperature dynamics and sky view factor (SVF) alterations at three time-points’ unit occupation history: 1930, 1950, and 2018. To determine the effects of morphological changes on thermal sensation, two outdoor comfort indexes were calculated: the physiological equivalent temperature (PET) and the universal thermal climate (UTCI). From the obtained results, the relationship between urban morphology, air temperature, and thermal comfort indicates that the debate about urban models will be heightened, particularly with regard to the concept of compact cities in the formation of new cities and neighborhoods in the tropics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Islands)
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