Adaptation to urban climate change through design: Early best practices in the tropics and future directions

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    The haphazard urbanization in much of the tropical belt imposes climatic stresses over and above those imposed by the global and regional climate changes. Primary causes for such urban climate changes are design- and planning-related. While this leads to hope for mitigatory actions, the fact that urban warming is being super-imposed on regional and global warming suggests adaptation is key. The net effect of urban climate changes super-imposed on regional changes in tropical cities is the increasing need for building cooling energy. At the same time, there are cool spots that are the serendipitious by-products of urban geometry (shade enhancement), ventilation patterns, urban parks and light colored urban surfaces. An urban design paradigm that responds to the changing climate by dynamically manipulating the urban morphology is therefore needed. This paper provides early best practice examples and examines the quality-of-life implications of an urban cooling approach for the rapidly growing tropical megapolii. It also explores the next steps, including data needs of rapidly growing tropical cities to mitigate both the urban heat island problem as well as the over-arching regional/global climate change.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication8th Workshop and Meeting CIB W108: Climate Change and the Built Environment Conference Proceedings
    ISBN (Print)9788838743665
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


    • urban heat island
    • climate change adaptation
    • tropical cities
    • cooling strategy


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