A central strand of research work in the realm of urban physics aims at a better understanding of the variancein microclimatic conditions due to factors such as building agglomeration density, anthropogenic heatproduction, traffic intensity, presence and extent of green areas and bodies of water, etc. This research has been motivated in part by phenomena associated with climate change and urban heat islands (UHI) and their implications for the urban microclimate. Note that the characteristics and evolution of the urban microclimate is not only relevant to people’s experience of outdoor thermal conditions in the cities. It can be argued that the solid understanding of the temporal and spatial variance of urban microclimate represents a prerequisite for the reliable assessment of the thermal performance of buildings (energy requirements, indoor thermal conditions). In this context, the present paper entails a three-fold contribution. First, the existence and extent of the UHI phenomena are documented for a number of Central-European cities. Second, a number of variables of the urban environment are identified that are hypothesized to influence UHI and the urban microclimatevariance. These variables, which pertain to both geometric (morphological) and semantic (material-related) urban features are captured within a formal and systematic framework. Third, to support the process of designand evaluation of UHI mitigation measures, the potential of both numerical (simulation-based) applicationsand empirically-based urban microclimate models are explored.
Ardeshir Mahdavi, Department of Building Physics and Building Ecology Vienna University of Technology Karlsplatz 13, 1040 Vienna: Austria
Kristina Kiesel, Department of Building Physics and Building Ecology Vienna University of Technology Karlsplatz 13, 1040 Vienna: Austria
Milena Vuckovic, Department of Building Physics and Building Ecology Vienna University of Technology Karlsplatz 13, 1040 Vienna: Austria