Human comfort, urban climate change and urban energy use: assessing adaptation options for the rapidly growing tropical megacities

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    Abstract

    The rapid urban growth in the tropics, while being a problem in itself, leads to urban climate changes which pose additional strains on urban energy supply and human comfort. Primary causes for such urban climate changes are amenable to design interventions: urban geometry (limited sky view), thermal properties of building surfaces, anthropogenic heat and air pollution. The net effect of urban climate changes super-imposed on regional changes in tropical cities is the increasing need for building cooling energy. The urban thermal stress on the already stressful tropical climate is making it nearly intolerable. This paper reports the thermal comfort and urban energy implications of a large-scale housing development in urban Sri Lanka, with the aid of building and neighbourhood-scale model simulations. A cool thermal environment by built-form and layout manipulation is promoted as the preferred adaptation mechanism for high-density tropical cities. Building energy and thermal comfort implications are also explored.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPLEA 2007: Sun, Wind and Architecture Conference Proceedings
    Place of PublicationSingapore
    PublisherNUS Press
    Pages148-155
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Print)9789810594008
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007

    Keywords

    • tropical climate
    • urban heat island
    • thermal comfort
    • heat island mitigation
    • urban morphology

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