Climate projections indicate that heat waves in the Netherlands are likely to become more frequent in the next decades. As in other moderate climates the consequences are especially felt in urban areas because of the Urban Heat Island effect (UHI). Prognosticated large expansion of the urban landscape and urban densification within existing cities could worsen the situation. Altogether, these developments may lead to significantly higher temperatures in the urban environment which may have consequences for human health and thermal comfort.
International studies confirm the ability of urban green to mitigate urban heat and improve thermal comfort, especially by providing shade, evapotranspiration and reducing ground heat storage. From the different scale levels on which green affects the urban microclimate, especially the cooling effect of parks at neighbourhood level is indicated. But still, very little scientifically based design principles are available for urban planners how to optimally design urban green to improve thermal comfort and this way physically adapt urban areas to the shifting thermal circumstances.
Therefore, this research aims at examining and defining design principles to improve thermal comfort at different scale levels by climate-responsive usage of urban green in the (re-) design of existing and new urban areas. The design principles will be built up by scientific knowledge on the objective and perceived impact of urban green on thermal comfort. The influence of urban green on thermal comfort under Dutch summer climate conditions will be determined for different green elements at the scale levels of city, neighbourhood and street.
PhD poster: Green interventions for climate-proof cities.pdf