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Using green to cool the grey: Modelling the cooling effect of green spaces with a high spatial resolution
Science of the Total Environment ( IF 5.589 ) Pub Date : 2020-03-25 , DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138182
Filipa Grilo; Pedro Pinho; Cristiana Aleixo; Cristina Catita; Patrícia Silva; Nuno Lopes; Catarina Freitas; Margarida Santos-Reis; Timon McPhearson; Cristina Branquinho

The urban heat island effect creates warmer and drier conditions in urban areas than in their surrounding rural areas. This effect is predicted to be exacerbated in the future under climate change scenario. One way to mitigate this effect is by using the urban green infrastructure to promote the cooling island effect. This study aimed to model with a high spatial resolution how Mediterranean urban parks can be maximized to be used as cooling islands by answering the following questions: i) which factors influence the cooling island effect and when?; ii) what type of green spaces contributes most to the cooling island effect?; iii) what is the cooling distance of influence? To answer these questions, a sampling design was established, where temperature and relative humidity were measured in different seasons, in different locations with contrasting characteristics of green and grey cover. We were able to model the effect of green and grey spaces, in the cooling island effect and build, with high spatial resolution, predicting maps for temperature and relative humidity. Our study showed that even green spaces with reduced areas can regulate microclimate, alleviating temperature by 1–3 °C and increasing moisture by 2–8%, on average. Green spaces with a higher density of trees were more efficient in the cooling island effect. The morphology, aspect and level of exposure of the grey surfaces to the solar radiation were also important features that were included in the models. The green spaces influenced temperature and relative humidity up to 60 m away from the park limits whereas grey areas influenced in a much less range, from 5 m up to 10 m. These models with high spatial resolution can now be used by citizens and other stakeholders for urban green spaces management and human well-being impact assessment.
更新日期:2020-03-26

 

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