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The potential of local climate zones maps as a heat stress assessment tool, supported by simulated air temperature data.

Landsc. Urban Plan. 178, 183-197 (2018)
Postprint online available 07/2021 Open Access Green as soon as is submitted to ZB.
High population densities in cities and rapid urban growth increase the vulnerability of the urban environment to extreme weather events. Urban planning should account for these extreme events as efficiently as possible. One way is to locate hot spots in an urban environment by mapping cities into local climate zones (LCZ) and evaluate heat stress related to these zones. LCZs are likely to become a standard in urban climate modelling as they capture important urban morphological characteristics. For instance, temperature regimes linked to spatially explicit LCZ maps should be assessed for all LCZ zones derived from these maps. This study assesses the thermal behavior of mapped LCZs using simulated temperature data from the UrbClim model. Prior to temperature analysis, the model was validated with observational data. To evaluate the robustness of the analysis, we ran the model in three cities in Belgium: Antwerp, Brussels, and Ghent. The results show that temperature regimes are significantly different for all the built zones in the urban environment independent of the city. Second, the susceptibility to heat stress can differ greatly depending on the zone. The unique thermal behavior of the different LCZs provides indispensable information on the urban environment and its climatic conditions. This study shows that the LCZ scheme has a potential to help urban planners globally tackle adverse effects of extreme weather events.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords Urban Heat Islands ; Local Climate Zones ; Thermal Behaviour ; Heat Stress ; Belgium ; Urbclim Model; Urban Energy-balance; 1 Km Resolution; Land-surface; Thermal Comfort; Global Change; Island; Cities; Models; City; Mitigation
Reviewing status