By regulating urban landscapes to alleviate the urban heat island effect, human thermal comfort and living conditions in urban areas can be improved. Although most previous studies focused on only one environmental factor, temperature, they ignored the actual human feeling of thermal comfort, which is affected not only by temperature, but also by humidity, wind speed, and radiation.
A new study by Dr. Li Huidong from the Institute of Applied Ecology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Dr. Wang Xun from the Free University of Berlin has integrated multiple environmental elements as an indicator of urban landscape regulation efficiency.
Researchers evaluated the effectiveness of two designs for reducing heat islands and improving human thermal comfort, namely the “white roofs” (roofs with high albedo) and the “green roofs” (roofs with lawns), as well as their underlying mechanisms.
In both cases, the “white” and “green” roofs were found to reduce the intensity of heat islands by lowering wind speeds and reducing radiation temperatures and thereby improving human comfort. Researchers have also identified two ways to enhance the cooling effect of roofs: roof sweeping and greening. Albedo and irrigation can both be increased through these measures. According to the researchers, these measures should be taken in urban residential areas to improve human thermal comfort.
Urban planning, in particular, and the management of urban heat islands will benefit from these results. Building and Environment published this study.