Effects of Urban Morphology on Intra-Urban Temperature Differences: Two Squares in Glasgow City Centre

Monday, 15 December 2014
Patricia Regina Chaves Drach, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, PROURB, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Rohinton Emmanuel, Glasgow Caledonian University, SEBE, Glasgow, United Kingdom
The perspective of climate change increases the necessity of tackling the urban over heating effects, by developing strategies to mitigate/adapt to changes. Analysing the influence of urban form on intra-urban temperature dynamics could be a helpful way of reducing its negative consequences. Also, it would help untangle the urban effect from the effect caused by atmospheric conditions. The present paper presents the effect of atmospheric conditions as exemplified by atmospheric stability (modified Pasquill-Gifford-Turner classification system) and urban morphology as measured by the Sky View Factor (SVF) on intra-urban variations in air temperature in a cold climate city, in and around the mature urban area of Glasgow, UK (55° 51' 57.294"N, 4° 15' 0.2628"W). The aim is to highlight their combined importance and to make preliminary investigations on the local warming effect of urban morphology under specific atmospheric stability classes. The present work indicates that the maximum intra-urban temperature differences (i.e. temperature difference between the coolest and the warmest spots in a given urban region) is strongly correlated with atmospheric stability. The spatial patterns in local temperature variations consistently show that water bodies and urban parks have lower temperature variations. Thus, greenery and urban materials could play an important role in influencing the local climate in cold cities. The knowledge of urban morphology’s influence on local temperature variations could be an important tool for devising appropriate planning/design strategies to face urban overheating in the coming years as the background climate continues to warm.