Influence of blue infrastructure on lawn thermal microclimate in a subtropical green space

Charmaine K.W. FUNG, Chi Yung JIM

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Abstract

Thermal modifications by a 1.5 m deep pond on adjacent lawn microclimate on sunny, cloudy, overcast and rainy summer days were investigated in subtropical Hong Kong. Microclimatic parameters at a pondside lawn were monitored and compared to an open lawn and a concrete rooftop (Control), with focus on Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) to investigate thermal comfort. The cooling capability of the studied pond has been ascertained – pondside lawn registered the lowest air temperatures (Ta) in most weather conditions, and mean Ta of sunny daytime at pondside lawn was 0.7 °C cooler than open lawn. Compared to Control, UTCI calculations indicated hotter mean daytime conditions at pondside lawn (−2.3 °C) than open lawn (−3.5 °C) on sunny day. Despite the pond’s ability to lower Ta, the lack of pondside tree shading created worse human heat-stress scenarios than open lawn. Cloudy day displayed lower heat-stress levels, but pondside lawn still recorded the highest frequency of strong heat stress (83.6%). To synergistically resolve the thermal-stress problems and transform pond-induced microclimatic cooling into physiological cooling for humans, deeper and more dynamic waterbodies could be incorporated alongside pondside tree shading and natural surfaces in urban park design. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101858
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Volume52
Early online dateSep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

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Citation

Fung, C. K. W., & Jim, C. Y. (2020). Influence of blue infrastructure on lawn thermal microclimate in a subtropical green space. Sustainable Cities and Society, 52. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2019.101858

Keywords

  • Pond microclimate
  • Waterbody cooling effect
  • Blue infrastructure
  • Urban heat island
  • Universal thermal climate index
  • Thermal comfort