Evaluating micro-scale cooling interventions

Authors: Morgan Rogers*, University of California - Los Angeles, V. Kelly Turner, University of California Los Angeles Luskin School of Public Affairs and Luskin Center for Innovation , Ariane Middel, Arizona State University School of Arts, Media and Engineering, Jon Ocon, University of California Los Angeles, Department of Geography, Matthew Stiller, Kenth State University
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Hazards and Vulnerability, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: microclimate, urban form, urban design, ENVI-met modeling
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/11/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 7
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

As cities continue to get hotter and more deaths are attributed to extreme heat than any other natural disaster, there is wide recognition that cities need to design for heat mitigation. Thus, we need a more nuanced understanding of how to regulate microclimate through the built environment. This project examines how the built environment influences the human experience of heat. Specifically, it examines how urban design features such as trees, shade structures, and other features influence mean radiant temperature (MRT), an indicator of human thermal comfort that accounts for multiple climate factors. While local (100s-1000s meters) and regional (1000s+ meters) assessments of urban climate are well developed, they are often too coarse to inform municipal interventions that occur at micro scales (10s-100s meters), like a street segment. Through a community engaged process, we are modeling planned interventions in three CalEPA “disadvantaged” communities receiving funding from the Transformative Climate Change Program in California: Ontario, Fresno, and Watts. Using field temperature data, we aim to model existing thermal comfort conditions and model future conditions based on plausible future changes to those conditions including cooling interventions like trees and cool roofs, but also related changes like densification, that could influence micro-climate.

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