Impact of Tree Locations and Arrangements on Outdoor Microclimates and Human Thermal Comfort in an Urban Residential Environment

Authors: Qunshan Zhao*, Arizona State University, David Sailor, Arizona State University, Elizabeth Wentz, Arizona State University
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Urban and Regional Planning, Environmental Science
Keywords: tree arrangement, human thermal comfort, outdoor thermal environment, ENVI-met.
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Studio 6, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Trees serve as a valuable asset in the urban built environment. In the arid city like Phoenix, trees are one of the primary urban green infrastructures to ameliorate extreme heat stress. Because of the cost of water and space in the desert residential environment, designing the optimal tree arrangement to maximize the overall thermal benefits for the residential neighborhood, is significant and necessary. In this research, we first simulated the real neighborhood in ENVI-met, and validated the reliability of ENVI-met models by comparing the simulated results with the car-based air temperature transects. Further, we evaluated and compared the differences of outdoor microclimates and human thermal comfort by simulating different tree layouts (cluster, equal interval, or disperse). Tree benefits at building and neighborhood scales are also compared and discussed. The simulation results showed that an equal interval two trees arrangement provides the best microclimate and human thermal comfort benefits in the neighborhood due to the importance of shading in the hot arid desert environment, following by cluster tree arrangement without canopy overlap. These findings will help policy makers and urban planners to offer better guidelines for planting and establishing residential trees to mitigate extreme heat in the hot arid residential environment.

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