EGU24-14606, updated on 09 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A cross-scale methodological framework for the quantification of the impact of urban features on intra-city microclimate

Xiaotian Ding1,2,3, Yongling Zhao3, Dominik Strebel3, Yifan Fan1,2, Jian Ge1,2, and Jan Carmeliet3
Xiaotian Ding et al.
  • 1College of civil engineering and architecture, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
  • 2International Research Center for Green Building and Low-Carbon City, International Campus, Zhejiang University, Haining, China
  • 3Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

Evaluation of the outdoor thermal comfort and comprehension of the impact of urban morphology are essential for assessing heat-related risks and implementing urban planning strategies that enhance the resilience of urban populations to extreme heat events. However, the challenge lies in achieving city-wide thermal comfort mapping at high spatial and temporal resolutions, which requires consideration of the complex urban morphology (urban geometry and land cover) at a microscale, as well as the background meteorological factors at larger scale. Here, we introduce an effective framework for city-scale thermal comfort mapping at high spatial-temporal resolution that integrates WRF-UCM and SOLWEIG model, aiming to achieve fine-grained thermal comfort mapping at the city scale and to explore the impact of urban morphology on these thermal conditions.

In the proposed framework, we employ the WRF-UCM model (The Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with the urban canopy model) to establish the background meteorological condition at local-scale (500m resolution). Additionally, we utilize the SOLWEIG (Solar and Longwave Environmental Irradiance Geometry) model for the simulation of mean radiant temperature at a finer micro-scale (10m resolution), a critical determinant of thermal comfort. These simulations are performed using detailed 3D urban morphological data and land cover information. Subsequently, the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) is calculated on hourly basis, integrating the aforementioned factors.

A case study conducted for a Chinese city with a population of 15 million demonstrates a significant correction between the rise in the UTCI during daytime and an increase in impervious surface area, evidenced by a maximum correlation coefficient of 0.80. Furthermore, our findings emphasize the significance of tree canopy coverage in mitigating heat, demonstrating that an implementation of 40% tree cover could diminish daytime UTCI by approximately 1.5 to 2.0 ºC. This methodological framework is not only instrumental in assessing heat-related risks and human thermal discomfort within intricate urban environments but also offers pivotal insights for the adoption of climate-resilient urban planning strategies.

How to cite: Ding, X., Zhao, Y., Strebel, D., Fan, Y., Ge, J., and Carmeliet, J.: A cross-scale methodological framework for the quantification of the impact of urban features on intra-city microclimate, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-14606,, 2024.

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