Impact of urban vegetation on outdoor thermal comfort: comparison between a Mediterranean city (Lecce, Italy) and a Northern European city (Lahti, Finland)

Elisa Gatto , Riccardo Buccolieri, Eeva Aarrevaara , Fabio Ippolito , Rohinton Emmanuel, Leonardo Perronace , Jose Luis Santiago

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This paper is devoted to the application of the modelling approach, as one of the methods for the evaluation of thermal comfort, to neighborhoods located in two cities characterized by a different climate, i.e., a Mediterranean city in southern Italy (Lecce) and a northern European city in southern Finland (Lahti). The impact of the presence of vegetation in both places is evaluated and compared, further considering alternative scenarios for thermal comfort improvement. The thermal comfort condition is expressed in terms of indices (mean radiant temperature (MRT) and predicted mean vote (PMV)). Results show that at pedestrian level the presence of vegetation lead to an improvement of thermal comfort in summer of about 2 points in both neighborhoods. This improvement is also evident observing the spatial distribution of MRT with a difference of 7 °C in the Lecce neighborhood and 3 °C in Lahti. In winter, thermal discomfort is observed in the presence of vegetation with a difference of 1.3 °C in the Lecce neighborhood and 1.5 °C in Lahti in terms of MRT. However, trees and green cover have the important potential to offset climate change impact and to make urban environments less thermally stressful. This study aims to guide urban planners towards a motivated and necessary transaction towards new green infrastructure whose effect should, however, be analyzed and investigated case by case.
Original languageEnglish
Article number228
Number of pages22680926
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2020



  • thermal comfort
  • urban vegetation
  • modelling and simulation
  • Mediterranean City
  • North European City

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