Microclimate Regulation Across the Urban Transect

Authors: Matthew Stiller*, Kent State University, V. Kelly Turner, Kent State University
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Land Use and Land Cover Change
Keywords: Urban Geography, Urban Design, Microclimates, Ecosystem Services,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Grand Chenier, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban areas, especially in the arid Southwest U.S., are predicted to be exposed to extreme heat events driven by a changing climate. The Urban Heat Island exacerbates these events by increasing daily maximum temperatures and reducing the overall overnight cooling effects in areas with low albedo and high amounts of impervious surface. Several design solutions have been proposed to alter the composition and configuration of neighborhoods and help regulate microclimates in urban environments; however, scholars have yet to fully address the ways that that these approaches influence microclimate regulation at varying levels of urban intensity. This research presents a land systems science approach to identify and quantify the impacts of urban form on urban microclimate regulation across the urban – rural transect. Using high resolution imagery from the Quickbird satellite and Aster Thermal Imagery, three new urbanist developments in the Southwest were compared against conventional sprawl developments and semi-naturals areas in proximity to the main study sites for relationships between calculated landscape metrics (urban form) and land surface temperature. We anticipate that the new urbanist communities will show higher temperatures in urban areas but will maintain a lower average in comparison to the conventional development.

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