The impact of urban compactness, comfort strategies and energy consumption on tropical urban heat island intensity: a review

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E-pub ahead of print


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Original languageEnglish
Article numberSCS-2017-1233
Journalsustainable cities and society
Early online date31 Jan 2018
StateE-pub ahead of print - 31 Jan 2018


The importance of studying tropical urban climate was recognised by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) as early as in 1981 but substantial improvements were seen only in the last two decades. However specific knowledge of tropical urban climate still lags behind that of temperate climate. In this paper, authors review the state of the art in tropical heat island intensity, its influence on building energy consumption and the effect of urban compactness in the tropics. The review is limited to peer-reviewed journal publications found on four databases: Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar and Science Direct.

The review indicates that although the tropical belt has large variations in topography, forest cover, land mass and development patterns, much of the current work is confined largely to Far East Asia, South Asia and South America. Future studies should focus on protocol for parameterisation and standardisation of measurement, in depth and scientific understanding of the influence of vegetation, water and topography, survey and monitoring of the context specific relationship between UHI and energy consumption, development of database for numerical model validation and improvement, and the context specific development of LCZ based institutional framework to integrate UHI mitigation strategies with environmental design guidelines.


  • urban heat island, tropics, journal database, urban compactness, green infrastructure