Assessment of Thermal Comfort and Microclimate in Urban Street Canyons – A Review of Recent Research


Streets are among the major components of Cities where walkability and livability can be enhanced by creating comfortable environments. But, as the global mean surface and air temperature have been projected to increase during this century, the intensity of corresponding extreme thermal stress events are also expected to rise thus making significant contributions towards global warming in the foreseeable future. This paper is based on recent studies on assessing microclimate and thermal comfort in urban street canyons. The results of recent research concluded that the street morphology, properties of street surfaces, vegetation cover are the main design factors, and Air temperature (Ta), Wind speed, Wind direction, Relative humidity (RH), and Mean radiant temperature (MRT) are the dominant meteorological parameters affecting the level of thermal comfort. Street aspect ratios H/W, sky view factor (SVF), and Street axis orientation are key parameters of street morphology, while the parameters of vegetation are categorized into Geometry, density, configuration, and physical properties of plants. Furthermore, surface albedo, color, and reflectance are identified under the properties of street surfaces. The tendency of recent research approaches has been to rely on simulation modeling with reference to different design scenarios employing specified thermal comfort indices. Further, thermal comfort assessment coupled with different vegetation configurations, street-level ventilation, and varied asymmetrical street aspect ratios have not received adequate attention in previous studies yet. By the end of this review, ENVI-met micro-meteorological simulation model employing with Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET) is suggested for future research on microclimatic improvements in street canyons.

Author Information
Clarence Dissanayake, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
U. G. D Weerasinghe, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
Janaka Dharmasena, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

Paper Information
Conference: IICSEEHawaii2021
Stream: Climate change

This paper is part of the IICSEEHawaii2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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