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Special Issue "Impacts of Urban Overheating on Human Life: the Potential of Mitigation and Adaptation Technologies"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Climate Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019) | Viewed by 12422

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Riccardo Paolini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Built Environment, Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture, University of New South Wales, UNSW Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Interests: heat mitigation; building; performance; energy, albedo; roof; ageing of building materials; heat and moisture transport
Dr. Negin Nazarian
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Scientia Lecturer, Faculty of Built Environment, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Local climate change, including but not limited to the Urban Heat Island effect, is driven by the increasing expansion of our cities and enhanced by global climate change. The ensuing outcome is one of the main environmental challenges of today with major impacts on energy and human health. As the outdoor ambient temperature is increased during the cooling season, total and peak cooling energy and electricity demands rise consequently. Additionally, urban overheating impacts human well-being and health, ranging from increased thermal stress to peaks in morbidity and mortality, specifically during heatwaves. Therefore, it is paramount that mitigation and adaptation strategies for urban heating and overheating are proposed and assessed in detail.

To respond to this urgency, we invite researchers to contribute original research and review articles dealing with all aspects of urban heating and its impact on human life in urban areas. These contributions include recent experimental and modeling studies, implementing techniques and developments tailored to the assessment of urban heating, as well as mitigation and adaptation scenarios proposed and assessed in various urban climates. We are also interested in reviews with possible future lines of investigation. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • To investigate the impact of urban overheating on building energy needs, electricity demand, health, economy, and hygrothermal comfort.
  • To propose comprehensive methodologies and metrics for quantifying the local and global impact of urban overheating.
  • To present the cooling potential of innovative mitigation and adaptation technologies (from both urban and building design perspectives). In particular, we are interested in original contributions on the development and testing of methods to measure and model the performance of consolidated and advanced technologies, with the identification of the elements of uncertainty, evaluating their reliability and performance in the context of application.
  • To evaluate the impact and role of advanced mitigation and adaptation policies on human health, energy, peak electricity demand, environment, economy, and comfort.
  • To present innovative application of mitigation and adaptation solution in large-scale projects both at the theoretical and experimental level.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.


Dr. Negin Nazarian

Dr. Riccardo Paolini
Guest Editors

Prof. Dr. Mattheos Santamouris
Scientific Advisor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Effects of Orientations, Aspect Ratios, Pavement Materials and Vegetation Elements on Thermal Stress inside Typical Urban Canyons
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3574; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193574 - 24 Sep 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2024
Abstract
The analysis of local climate conditions to test artificial urban boundaries and related climate hazards through modelling tools should become a common practice to inform public authorities about the benefits of planning alternatives. Different finishing materials and sheltering objects within urban canyons (UCs) [...] Read more.
The analysis of local climate conditions to test artificial urban boundaries and related climate hazards through modelling tools should become a common practice to inform public authorities about the benefits of planning alternatives. Different finishing materials and sheltering objects within urban canyons (UCs) can be tested, predicted and compared through quantitative and qualitative understanding of the relationships between the microclimatic environment and subjective thermal assessment. This process can work as support planning instrument in the early design phases as has been done in this study that aims to analyze the thermal stress within typical UCs of Bilbao (Spain) in summertime through the evaluation of Physiologically Equivalent Temperature using ENVI-met. The UCs are characterized by different orientations, height-to-width aspect ratios, pavement materials, trees’ dimensions and planting pattern. Firstly, the current situation was analyzed; secondly, the effects of asphalt and red brick stones as streets’ pavement materials were compared; thirdly, the benefits of vegetation elements were tested. The analysis demonstrated that orientation and aspect ratio strongly affect the magnitude and duration of the thermal peaks at pedestrian level; while the vegetation elements improve the thermal comfort up to two thermophysiological assessment classes. The outcomes of this study, were transferred and visualized into green planning recommendations for new and consolidated urban areas in Bilbao. Full article
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Article
Characterizing the Hourly Variation of Urban Heat Islands in a Snowy Climate City during Summer
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(14), 2467; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16142467 - 11 Jul 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1305
Abstract
Temporal variation of urban heat island (UHI) intensity is one of the most important themes in UHI studies. However, fine-scale temporal variability of UHI with explicit spatial information is sparse in the literature. Based on the hourly air temperature from 195 meteorological stations [...] Read more.
Temporal variation of urban heat island (UHI) intensity is one of the most important themes in UHI studies. However, fine-scale temporal variability of UHI with explicit spatial information is sparse in the literature. Based on the hourly air temperature from 195 meteorological stations during August 2015 in Changchun, China, hourly spatiotemporal patterns of UHI were mapped to explore the temporal variability and the effects of land use on the thermal environment using time series analysis, air temperature profiling, and spatial analysis. The results showed that: (1) high air temperature does not indicate strong UHI intensity. The nighttime UHI intensity (1.51 °C) was much stronger than that in the daytime (0.49 °C). (2) The urban area was the hottest during most of the day except the period from late morning to around 13:00 when there was about a 40% possibility for an “inverse UHI intensity” to appear. Paddy land was the coolest in the daytime, while woodland had the lowest temperature during the nighttime. (3) The rural area had higher warming and cooling rates than the urban area after sunrise and sunset. It appeared that 23 °C was the threshold at which the thermal characteristics of different land use types changed significantly. Full article
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Article
Modification Effects of Population Expansion, Ageing, and Adaptation on Heat-Related Mortality Risks Under Different Climate Change Scenarios in Guangzhou, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030376 - 29 Jan 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2219
Abstract
(1) Background: Although the health effects of future climate change have been examined in previous studies, few have considered additive impacts of population expansion, ageing, and adaptation. We aimed to quantify the future heat-related years of life lost (YLLs) under different [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Although the health effects of future climate change have been examined in previous studies, few have considered additive impacts of population expansion, ageing, and adaptation. We aimed to quantify the future heat-related years of life lost (YLLs) under different Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) scenarios and global-scale General Circulation Models (GCMs), and further to examine relative contributions of population expansion, ageing, and adaptation on these projections. (2) Methods: We used downscaled and bias-corrected projections of daily temperature from 27 GCMs under RCP2.6, 4.5, and 8.5 scenarios to quantify the potential annual heat-related YLLs in Guangzhou, China in the 2030s, 2060s, and 2090s, compared to those in the 1980s as a baseline. We also explored the modification effects of a range of population expansion, ageing, and adaptation scenarios on the heat-related YLLs. (3) Results: Global warming, particularly under the RCP8.5 scenario, would lead to a substantial increase in the heat-related YLLs in the 2030s, 2060s, and 2090s for the majority of the GCMs. For the total population, the annual heat-related YLLs under the RCP8.5 in the 2030s, 2060s, and 2090s were 2.2, 7.0, and 11.4 thousand, respectively. The heat effects would be significantly exacerbated by rapid population expansion and ageing. However, substantial heat-related YLLs could be counteracted by the increased adaptation (75% for the total population and 20% for the elderly). (4) Conclusions: The rapid population expansion and ageing coinciding with climate change may present an important health challenge in China, which, however, could be partially counteracted by the increased adaptation of individuals. Full article
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Article
Impact of Morphological Characteristics of Green Roofs on Pedestrian Cooling in Subtropical Climates
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020179 - 09 Jan 2019
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 3713
Abstract
Growing and densifying cities set a challenge for preserving and enhancing green spaces to cool urban spaces. Green roofs, involving the planting of vegetation on rooftops, are regarded as an alternative approach to enhancing urban greenery and urban cooling. For better cooling performances, [...] Read more.
Growing and densifying cities set a challenge for preserving and enhancing green spaces to cool urban spaces. Green roofs, involving the planting of vegetation on rooftops, are regarded as an alternative approach to enhancing urban greenery and urban cooling. For better cooling performances, it is essential to reasonably configure green roofs, especially in real and complex neighborhoods. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to investigate the impact of morphological characteristics of green roofs on pedestrian cooling in real and complex neighborhoods. In specific, based on an ENVI-met model, we studied the effect of greening layout, coverage ratio, vegetation height, and building height on pedestrian air temperature reduction in the tropical city of Hangzhou, China. Results indicate green roofs could generate moderate effects on pedestrian air temperature reduction (around 0.10–0.30 °C), while achieving a cooling performance of 0.82 °C. Green roofs in upwind zones were able to generate the most favorable cooling performance, while green roofs in downwind zones made slight differences to pedestrian thermal environments. Green roofs with a low coverage ratio were not useful for lowering pedestrian temperature, and a greening coverage ratio of 25–75% in upwind zones was cost-effective in real neighborhoods. Locations that were horizontally close to green roofs enjoyed better cooling performances. Increasing vegetation height could strengthen cooling effects of green roofs, while an increase in building height weakened the cooling performance. Nevertheless, higher building height could enhance pedestrian cooling performances because of building shading effects. In addition, because of wind effects and building shading, building height limits for the cooling performance of green roofs could be higher than 60 m. Full article
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Article
Increasing Probability of Heat-Related Mortality in a Mediterranean City Due to Urban Warming
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1571; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081571 - 25 Jul 2018
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 2664
Abstract
Extreme temperatures impose thermal stress on human health, resulting in increased hospitalizations and mortality rate. We investigated the circulatory and respiratory causes of death for the years 2007 to 2014 inclusive for the urban and rural areas of Nicosia, Cyprus under urban heatwave [...] Read more.
Extreme temperatures impose thermal stress on human health, resulting in increased hospitalizations and mortality rate. We investigated the circulatory and respiratory causes of death for the years 2007 to 2014 inclusive for the urban and rural areas of Nicosia, Cyprus under urban heatwave and non-heatwave conditions. Heatwaves were defined as four or more consecutive days with mean urban daily temperature over the 90th percentile threshold temperature of the eight investigated years. Lag period of adverse health effects was found to be up to three days following the occurrence of high temperatures. The relative risk (RR) for mortality rate under heatwave and non-heatwave conditions was found taking in consideration the lag period. The results showed the increase of mortality risk particularly for men of ages 65–69 (RR = 2.38) and women of ages 65–74 (around RR = 2.54) in the urban area, showing that women were more vulnerable to heat extremities. High temperatures were also associated with high ozone concentrations, but they did not impose an excess risk factor, as they did not reach extreme values. This analysis highlights the importance of preparing for potential heat related health impacts even in Cyprus, which is an island with frequent heatwaves. Full article
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