Urban Climatic Map Studies: A Review

Since their introduction 40 years ago, worldwide interest in urban climatic map (UCMap) studies has grown. Today, there are over 15 countries around the world processing their own climatic maps, developing urban climatic guidelines, and implementing mitigation measures for local planning practices. Facing the global issue of climate change, it is also necessary to include the changing climatic considerations holistically and strategically in the planning process, and to update city plans. This paper reviews progress in UCMap studies. The latest concepts, key methodologies, selected parameters, map structure, and the procedures of making UCMaps are described in the paper. The mitigation measures inspired by these studies and the associated urban climatic planning recommendations are also examined. More than 30 relevant studies around the world have been cited, and both significant developments and existing problems are discussed. The thermal environment and air ventilation condition within the urban canopy layer (UCL) of the city are important in the analytical processes of the climatic-environmental evaluation. Possible mitigation measures and planned actions include decreasing anthropogenic heat release, improving air ventilation at the pedestrian level, providing more shaded areas, increasing greenery, creating air paths, and controlling building morphologies. Further developments have and will continue to focus on the spatial analysis of human thermal comfort in urban outdoor environments and on the impacts and adaptations of climate change. Mapmakers must continue to share lessons and experiences with city planners and policy makers, especially in the rapidly expanding cities of developing countries and regions.

Suggested citation or credit:

Chao, R., Yan-Yung, N., Lutz, K. (2010) Urban climatic map studies: a review. International Journal of Climatology.  DOI: 10.1002/joc.2237

Source: Royal Meteorological society

Publication Date: August 2010

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