Moderation of summertime heat-island phenomena via modification of the urban form in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

  • Adachi, S. A., F. Kimura, H. Kusaka, M. Duda, T. Yamagata, S, Seya, K. Nakamichi, T. Aoyagi, 2014: Moderation of summertime heat-island phenomena via modification of the urban form in the Tokyo metropolitan area. J. Appl. Meteor. Clim., 53, 1886-1900, 2014/08/08(Acknowledgement: **) (Citations:(web of science:14times, google scholar:24times)) .

Abstract
This study investigated the moderation of the urban heat island via changes in the urban form in the Tokyo metropolitan area (TMA). Two urban scenarios with the same population as that of the current urban form were used for sensitivity experiments: the dispersed-city and compact-city scenarios. Numerical experiments using the two urban scenarios as well as an experiment using the current urban form were conducted using a regional climate model coupled with a single-layer urban canopy model. The averaged nighttime surface air temperature in TMA increased by ~0.34°C in the dispersed-city scenario and decreased by ~0.1°C in the compact-city scenario. Therefore, the compact-city scenario had significant potential for moderating the mean areal heat-island effect in the entire TMA. Alternatively, in the central part of the TMA, these two urban-form scenarios produced opposite effects on the surface air temperature; that is, severe thermal conditions worsened further in the compact-city scenario because of the denser population. This result suggests that the compact-city form is not always appropriate for moderation of the urban-heat-island effect. This scenario would need to combine with other mitigation strategies, such as the additional greening of urban areas, especially in the central area. This study suggests that it is important to design a plan to adapt to higher urban temperatures, which are likely to ensue from future global warming and the urban heat island, from several perspectives; that is, designs should take into account not only climatological aspects but also impacts on urban inhabitants.

Keywords: Heat islands; Climate change; Regional models; Urban meteorology

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