Researchers develop new EcoCity model for mitigating urban heat islands

June 06, 2017

Urban land-use/cover changes and their effects on the eco-environment have long been an active research topic in the urbanization field. Prof. KUANG Wenhui's group at the Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, has developed the EcoCity model for regulating urban land cover structures and thermal environments, and has established eco-regulation thresholds for urban surface thermal environments.

This research has shown that the difference in thermal environments among urban functional areas is closely related to the proportion of land-cover components. This work was published in Science China Earth Sciences.

The EcoCity model is based on the multidisciplinary integration of urban geography, urban climatology and urban ecology. The model is closely linked to "spatial location theory" in urban geography, "radiation and energy balance" in urban climatology, and provided the parameterization program for regulating land-cover components and thermal environment in urban planning and management application.

The EcoCity model can simulate the future urban expansion under different scenarios and predict the proportions of urban impervious surface areas and greenness, and the induced urban heat island effect. The core function of this model is the spatially-explicated information acquisition, including the proportion of impervious surface areas in different functional zones, the intensity of urban heat island, and the indexes of human comfort degree.

The results provide fundamental data for regulating the impervious surface ratios in different functional zones and supporting urban heat island mitigation in future urban expansion.

Using Beijing as a study area, the researchers found significantly different surface temperatures in different functional zones, especially between urban impervious surfaces and green space. What's more, the temperatures in various surface covers were different.

"The difference in thermal environments among various urban functional zones is closely related to the composition of major land covers," said Prof. KUANG.

"The analysis of ecological thresholds of impervious surfaces and green space within various functional zones shows their different roles in thermal regulation effects. The urban-rural frontier and urban interior structure are characterized by high dynamics, structural complexity, and land-cover mosaics, resulting in challenges in obtaining accurate results for urban land cover components."

The EcoCity model and associated high-precision data and map products have been applied in different fields such as environmental protection, urban planning, and earthquake recovery.

Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

Related Green Space Articles from Brightsurf:

Living near green space linked to lower rates of smoking and higher chances of quitting
A study led by the University of Plymouth showed people living in areas with a high proportion of greenspace were 20% less likely to be current smokers than those in less green areas, and up to 12% more likely to have successfully quit smoking.

Air pollution, green space and built environment characteristics may influence body mass index durin
A new study of almost 80,000 children living in urban areas of Catalonia has, for the first time, analysed the relationship between urban exposures and BMI growth trajectories

Space to grow, or grow in space -- how vertical farms could be ready to take-off
Vertical farms with their soil-free, computer-controlled environments may sound like sci-fi.

Living close to green space benefits gut bacteria of urban, formula-fed infants
Living close to natural green space can mitigate some of the changes in infant gut bacteria associated with formula feeding, according to new research published in the journal Environment International.

Loss of green space in India shown to be associated with higher cardiometabolic risk
Study is one of the first to analyse the relationship between urban development and health in a low- or middle-income country.

Study reveals how green space can reduce violent crime
Researchers identified patterns that can inform public policy, guide urban design and promote neighborhoods that are safe and low in crime.

Women who live near green space are less likely to be overweight or obese
Women who live less than 300 metres from green space may be at lower risk of excess weight or obesity.

Largest study ever finds that urban green space can prevent premature deaths
The study provides robust evidence that may help policy makers estimate the impact of increasing green space in cities.

Beyond the green revolution
There has been a substantial increase in food production over the last 50 years, but it has been accompanied by a narrowing in the diversity of cultivated crops.

A filament fit for space -- silk is proven to thrive in outer space temperatures
Scientists from the universities of Oxford, Shanghai and Beijing who discovered that natural silks get stronger the colder they get, have finally solved the puzzle of why.

Read More: Green Space News and Green Space Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to