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Outdoor thermal comfort for pedestrians in movement: thermal walks in complex urban morphology

Vasilikou, C. and Nikolopoulou, M. (2020) Outdoor thermal comfort for pedestrians in movement: thermal walks in complex urban morphology. International Journal of Biometeorology, 64. pp. 277-291. ISSN 1432-1254

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00484-019-01782-2

Abstract/Summary

In the discussion of designing for a healthier city, people in movement between interconnected spaces perform a non-sedentary activity enhancing sustainability and well-being. However, adverse weather conditions may create uncomfortable thermal sensations that change or ruin the experience of people walking outdoors. This paper is presenting the findings of a 3-year study on the perceptual variation of thermo-spatial conditions and comfort state for pedestrians moving between interconnected spaces. Thermal walks were organised in two European pedestrian routes of 500-m length. The structured walks were conducted with simultaneous microclimatic monitoring and field surveys of thermal perception based on 314 questionnaires, with a focus on the variation of comfort states. The findings suggest that spaces in sequence do not affect significantly microclimatic variation but have a large impact on the dynamic thermal perception of pedestrians. Interconnected spaces of high density result in a differentiation of thermal pleasantness between streets and squares. The aspect of movement along with complexity in urban morphology along a sequence enhances diversity in thermal sensation. This understanding opens possibilities in developing a multisensory-centred urbanism, where the experience of the thermal environment plays an integral role for perception-driven and healthier urban design.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment > Architecture
ID Code:81969
Publisher:Springer

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