Climate adaptation strategies: Achieving insight in microclimate effects of redevelopment options

Kleerekoper, L, van Dorst, M. J., Dobbelsteen, A.v.d., Hordijk,, G.J. and Martin, Craig orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0239-1298 (2015) Climate adaptation strategies: Achieving insight in microclimate effects of redevelopment options. Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, 4 (1). pp. 110-136.

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Purpose – Due to the predicted global temperature rise and local expansion and densification of cities, Urban Heat Islands (UHI) are likely to increase in the Netherlands. As spatial characteristics of a city influence its climate, urban design could be deployed to mitigate the combined effects of climate change and UHIs. Although cities are already experiencing problems during warm-weather periods, no clear spatial means or strategies are available for urban designers to alleviate heat stress. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
Design/methodology/approach – There is a lack of knowledge on cooling effects that can be achieved through urban design in Dutch neighbourhoods. In this paper, the cooling effects of various design measures are compared on the level of urban blocks and neighbourhoods, with a focus on a 1960s neighbourhood in Amsterdam-West. The cooling effects are simulated by means of the microclimate model ENVI-met, here the effects on air temperature and physiological equivalent temperature will be evaluated. Findings – The use of green, and a higher roof albedo in particular, seem to perform well as cooling measures. Combinations of cooling measures do not necessarily result in better performance and might even counteract other cooling effects. However, combinations of measures that lead to an increase in the environmental temperature show the largest heating.
Research limitations/implications – Effects of green roofs and facades are beyond the scope of this study, though future suggestions for this research will be included.
Originality/value – The results add to the body of knowledge in the area of climate design enabling policy makers and designers to estimate the effect of simulated measures in comparable neighbourhoods and thus improve thermal comfort in outdoor spaces.

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