2018 Volume 6 Issue 4 Pages 148-164
This paper introduces a comprehensive framework that assesses the urban heat environment and formulates urban wind paths. Compared with other ecosystems, the wind environment and heat environment in urban areas can be much more complicated and dynamic. Nonetheless, it is of great concern considering the agglomerated population and industries at stake. Hence, multiple computational techniques are developed to assess the contemporary heat environment, and to formulate feasible policies to improve it to a more liveable state by introducing the solution of natural wind. Three key factors are considered: solar radiation, which is the major source of heat; wind direction and wind speed, which transports heat in space; and urban land surface, which may affect radiation reflection, contain auxiliary heat sources or cause vertical air flow. Hence, mesoscale meteorological data are applied to provide information about solar radiation, and are used for simulating local wind flow; Landsat images can be translated into land surface temperature figures; and building and land use databases provide information about built-up features. These combined, the local heat environment in urban areas can be mapped and monitored in a periodic fashion, with wind path analysis providing possibilities in cooling down the hotspots. Practices in cities including Fuzhou and Wuhan have proved constructive, with some others still underway.