ACS  Vol.3 No.3 , July 2013
Green Areas and Microscale Thermal Comfort in Arid Environments: A Case Study in Mendoza, Argentina
Abstract: A series of mobile and stationary meteorological measurements were performed in the city of Mendoza, Argentina to study the local influence of green areas on the urban canopy layer heat island effect at the micro scale, during the Austral summer of 2003-2005. These results were associated in representative local climate zones (LCZ), which helped to identify different thermal conditions within the city. The physiologically equivalent temperature index was used to determine the thermal comfort in each LCZ, showing that during daylight, trees and parks improve thermal comfort through shading and evapotranspiration; but at the same time, urban tree corridors delay night cooling by retaining warm air beneath their canopies. Also irrigation showed to positively influence on the extension and intensity of the cooling effect of rural areas and parks. The cooling influence of an urban park spreads out through the neighborhoods for 800 - 1000 m, with an average temperature decrease of 1.3°C during daytime and >4.0°C at nighttime.
Cite this paper: S. Puliafito, F. Bochaca, D. Allende and R. Fernandez, "Green Areas and Microscale Thermal Comfort in Arid Environments: A Case Study in Mendoza, Argentina," Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 3, 2013, pp. 372-384. doi: 10.4236/acs.2013.33039.

[1]   T. Oke, “The Distinction between Canopy and Boundary-Layers Heat Islands,” Atmosphere, Vol. 14, 1976, pp. 268-277.

[2]   T. Oke, “The Energetic Basis of the Urban Heat Island,” Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, Vol. 108, No. 455, 1982, pp. 1-24.

[3]   C. Grimmond, C. Souch and M. Hubblel, “Influence of Tree Cover on Summertime Surface Energy Balance Fluxes, San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles,” Climate Research, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1996, pp. 45-57. doi:10.3354/cr006045

[4]   A. J. Arnfield, “Two Decades of Urban Climate Research: A Review of Turbulence, Exchanges of Energy and Water, and the Urban Heat Island,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2003, pp. 1-26. doi:10.1002/joc.859

[5]   I. Eliasson and B. Holmer, “Urban Heat Island Circulation in G?teborg, Sweden,” Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Vol. 42, No. 3, 1990, pp. 187-196. doi:10.1007/BF00866874

[6]   P. Crutzen, “New Directions: The Growing Urban Heat and Pollution ‘Island’ Effect; Impact on Chemistry and Climate,” Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 38, No. 21, 2004, pp. 3539-3540. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2004.03.032

[7]   C. Sarrat, A. Lemonsu, V. Masson and D. Guedalia, “Impact of Urban Heat Island on Regional Atmospheric Pollution,” Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 40, No. 10, 2006, 1743-1758. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2005.11.037

[8]   H. Akbari, M. Pomerantz and H. Taha, “Cool Surfaces and Shade Trees to Reduce Energy Use and Improve Air Quality in Urban Areas,” Solar Energy, Vol. 70, No. 3, 2001, pp. 295-310. doi:10.1016/S0038-092X(00)00089-X

[9]   A. Brazel, N. Selover, R. Vose and G. Heisler, “The Tale of Two Climates—Baltimore and Phoenix Urban LTER Sites,” Climate Research, Vol. 15, 2000, pp. 123-135. doi:10.3354/cr015123

[10]   T. Oke, “The Micrometeorology of the Urban Forest,” Journal of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 324, No. 1223, 1989, pp. 335-349. doi:10.1098/rstb.1989.0051

[11]   H. Taha, “Urban Climates and Heat Islands: Albedo, Evapotranspiration, and Anthropogenic Heat,” Energy and Buildings, Vol. 25, No. 2, 1997, pp. 99-103. doi:10.1016/S0378-7788(96)00999-1

[12]   P. Mirzaei and F. Haghighat, “Approaches to Study Urban Heat Island. Abilities and Limitations,” Building and Environment, Vol. 45, No. 10, 2010, pp. 2192-2201. doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2010.04.001

[13]   M. Roth, “Review of Urban Climate Research in (sub) Tropical Regions,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 27, No. 14, 2007, pp. 1859-1873. doi:10.1002/joc.1591

[14]   S. Guhathakurta and P. Gober, “The Impact of the Phoenix Urban Heat Island on Residential Water Use,” Journal American Planning Association, Vol. 73, No. 3, 2007., pp. 317-329. doi:10.1080/01944360708977980

[15]   W. Chow and A. Brzazel, “Assessing Xeriscaping as a Sustainable Heat Island Mitigation Approach for a Desert City,” Building and Environment, Vol. 47, 2012, pp. 170-181. doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2011.07.027

[16]   H. Nasrallah, A. Brazel and R. Balling, “Analysis of the Kuwait City Urban Heat Island,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 10, No. 4, 2006, pp. 401-405. doi:10.1002/joc.3370100407

[17]   S. Robaa, “Urban-Suburban/Rural Differences over Greater Cairo, Egypt,” Atmósfera, Vol. 16, 2003, pp. 157-171.

[18]   J. Lindén, “Nocturnal Cool Island in the Sahelian City of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 31, No. 4, 2011, pp. 605-620. doi:10.1002/joc.2069

[19]   M. Sofer and O. Potchter, “The Urban Heat Island of a City in an Arid Zone: The Case of Eilat, Israel,” Theoretical and Apply Climatology, Vol. 85, No. 1-2, 2006, pp. 81-88. doi:10.1007/s00704-005-0181-9

[20]   T. Oke, R. Spronken-Smith, E. Jauregui and C. Grimmond, “The Energy Balance of Central Mexico City during the Dry Season,” Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 33, No. 24-25, 1999, pp. 3919-3930. doi:10.1016/S1352-2310(99)00134-X

[21]   E. Jauregui, “Heat Island Development in Mexico City,” Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 31, No. 22, 1997, pp. 3821-3831. doi:10.1016/S1352-2310(97)00136-2

[22]   R. Garcia-Cueto, E. Jauregui and A. Tejeda, “Urban/ Rural Energy Balance Observations in a Desert City in Northern Mexico,” Proceedings of Fifth International Conference on Urban Climate, Lodz, September 2003, pp. 177-180.

[23]   D. Pearlmutter, P. Berliner and E. Shaviv, “Urban Climatology in Arid Regions: Current Research in the Negev desert,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 27, No. 14, 2007, pp. 1875-1885. doi:10.1002/joc.1523

[24]   Y. Charabi and A. Bakhit, “Assessment of the Canopy Urban Heat Island of a Coastal Arid Tropical City: The Case of Muscat, Oman,” Atmospheric Research, Vol. 101, No. 1-2, 2011, pp. 215-227. doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2011.02.010

[25]   I. Stewart and T. Oke, “Local Climate Zones for Urban Temperature Studies,” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 93, No. 12, 2012, pp. 1879-1900. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00019.1

[26]   P. H?ppe, “The Physiological Equivalent Temperature— A Universal Index for the Biometeorological Assessment of the Thermal Environment,” International Journal of Biometeorology, Vol. 43, No. 2, 1999, pp. 71-75. doi:10.1007/s004840050118

[27]   U. Schlink, O. Herbarth, M. Richter, J. L. Puliafito, M. Rehwagen, C. Puliafito, J. C. Behler and E. Puliafito, “Ozone-Monitoring in Mendoza, Argentina: Initial Results,” Journal of Air and Waste Management Association, Vol. 49, No. 1, 1999, pp. 82-87. doi:10.1080/10473289.1999.10463780

[28]   E. Puliafito, M. Guevara and C. Puliafito, “Characterization of Urban Air Quality Using GIS as a Management System,” Environmental Pollution, Vol. 122, No. 1, 2003, pp. 105-117. doi:10.1016/S0269-7491(02)00278-6

[29]   E. Martínez-Carretero, “The Synanthropic Flora in the Mendoza (Argentina) Urban Area,” Urban Ecosystem, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2010, pp. 237-242. doi:10.1007/s11252-009-0117-8

[30]   M. Arboit, A. Diblas, J. Fernández Llano and C. de Rosa, “Assessing the Solar Potential of Low-Density Urban Environments in Andean Cities with Desert Climates: The Case of the City of Mendoza, in Argentina,” Renewable Energy, Vol. 33, No. 8, 2008, pp. 1733-1748. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2007.11.007

[31]   E. Correa, C. Martinez, A. Cantón and C. de Rosa, “Seasonal Impact of Building Densities and Urban Tree Configurations on the Thermal Conditions in Urban Canyons. The Case of Mendoza Metropolitan Area in Argentina,” 25th Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture, PLEA, 2008.

[32]   US Geological Survey (USGS), “The Global Land Cover Characterization (GLCC) Database,” 2010.

[33]   O. Arino, J. Ramos, V. Kalogirou, P. Defoumy and F. Achard, “GlobCover 2009,” In: ESA Living Planet Symposium, Bergen, Norway, 2010, p. 686.

[34]   Instituto de Desarrollo Rural (IDR), “Programa Ecoatlas.”

[35]   P. Cremades, S. E. Puliafito, D. Allende and R. Fernandez, “An Approach for Using Remote Sensing Products and Ground Observations in the Evaluation of a Numerical Weather Prediction Model,” In: O. M?ller, J. W. Signorelli and M. A. Storti, Eds., Mecánica Computacional, 2011, pp. 3529-3542.

[36]   S. E. Puliafito, D. Allende, R. Fernández, F. Castro and P. Cremades, “New Approaches for Urban and Regional Air Pollution Modelling and Management,” In: F. Nejadkoorki, Ed., Advance in Air Pollution, Intech, Morn Hill, 2011, pp. 429-454.

[37]   A. Matzarakis and H. Mayer, “Heat Stress in Greece,” International Journal of Biometeorology, Vol. 41, No. 1, 1997, pp. 34-39. doi:10.1007/s004840050051

[38]   A. Matzarakis, H. Mayer and M. Iziomon, “Applications of a Universal Thermal Index: Physiological Equivalent Temperature,” International Journal of Biometeorology, Vol. 43, No. 2, 1999, pp. 76-84. doi:10.1007/s004840050119

[39]   S. Toy and S. Yilmaz, “Thermal Sensation of People Performing Recreational Activities in Shadowy Environment: A Case Study from Turkey,” Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Vol. 101, No. 3-4, 2010, pp. 329-343. doi:10.1007/s00704-009-0220-z

[40]   H. Andrade and M. Alcoforado, “Microclimatic Variation of Thermal Comfort in a District of Lisbon (Telheiras) at Night,” Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Vol. 92, No. 3-4, 2008, pp. 225-237. doi:10.1007/s00704-007-0321-5

[41]   E. Johansson, “In?uence of Urban Geometry on Outdoor Thermal Comfort in a Hot Dry Climate: A Study in Fez, Morocco,” Building and Environment, Vol. 41, No. 10, 2006, pp. 1326-1338. doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2005.05.022

[42]   J. Spagnolo and R. de Dear, “A Field Study of Thermal Comfort in Outdoor and Semi-Outdoor Environments in Subtropical Sydney Australia,” Building and Environment, Vol. 38, No. 5, 2003, pp. 721-738. doi:10.1016/S0360-1323(02)00209-3

[43]   A. Helbig, A. Matzarakis and E. Piacentini, “North-South Variation of Bioclimatic Parameters in Argentina during Summer Months,” In: A. Matzarakis, C. R. de Freitas and D. Scott, Eds., Developments in Tourism Climatology, 2007, pp. 66-73.

[44]   A. Gulyás and A. Matzarakis, “Selected Examples of Bioclimatic Analysis Applying the Physiologically Equivalent Temperature in Hungary,” Acta Climatologica Et Chorologica, Vol. 40-41, 2007, pp. 37-46.

[45]   A. Gulyás, J. Ungerand and A. Matzarakis, “Assessment of the Microclimatic and Human Comfort Conditions in a Complex Urban Environment: Modelling and Measurements,” Building and Environment, Vol. 41, No. 12, 2006, pp. 1713-1722. doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2005.07.001

[46]   B. Holmer and I. Eliasson, “Urban-Rural Vapour Pressure Differences and Their Role in the Development of Urban Heat Islands,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 19, No. 9, 1999, pp. 989-1009. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0088(199907)19:9<989::AID-JOC410>3.0.CO;2-1

[47]   W. Kuttler, S. Weber, J. Schonnefeld and A. Hesselschwerdt, “Urban/Rural Atmospheric Water Vapour Pressure Differences and Urban Moisture Excess in Krefeld, Germany,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 27, No. 14, 2007, pp. 2005-2015. doi:10.1002/joc.1558

[48]   B. Ackerman, “Climatology of Chicago Area UrbanRural Differences in Humidity,” Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology, Vol. 26, No. 3, 1987, pp. 427-430. doi:10.1175/1520-0450(1987)026<0427:COCAUR>2.0.CO;2

[49]   S. Hamada and T. Ohta, “Seasonal Variations in the Cooling Effect of Urban Green Areas on Surrounding Urban Areas,” Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2010, pp. 15-24. doi:10.1016/j.ufug.2009.10.002

[50]   R. Spronken-Smith and T. Oke, “The Thermal Regime of Urban Parks in Two Cities with Different Summer Climates,” International Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 19, No. 11, 1998, pp. 2085-2104. doi:10.1080/014311698214884

[51]   L. Shashua-Bar, D. Pearlmutter and E. Erell, “The Cooling Efficiency of Urban Landscape Strategies in a Hot Dry Climate,” Landscape and Urban Planning, Vol. 92, No. 3-4, 2009, pp. 179-186. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2009.04.005

[52]   J. Georgi and D. Dimitriou, “The Contribution of Urban Green Spaces to the Improvement of Environment in Cities: Case Study of Chania, Greece,” Building and Environment, Vol. 45, No. 6, 2010, pp. 1401-1414. doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2009.12.003

[53]   D. Bowler, L. Buyung-Ali, T. Knight and A. Pullin, “Urban Greening to Cool Towns and Cities: A Systematic Review of the Empirical Evidence,” Landscape and Urban Planning, Vol. 97, No. 3, 2010, pp. 147-155. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2010.05.006

[54]   P. Gober, “Desert Urbanization and the Challenges of Water Sustainability,” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Vol. 2, No. 3, 2010, pp. 144-150. doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2010.06.006