DDD Conference

3. Prof. David Pearlmutter

Urban Planning Tools for Maximizing the Effect of Shade Trees on Pedestrian Thermal Comfort

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

In the face of local as well as global warming trends, cities that are already uncomfortably hot for much of the year must be continually reimagined to make them more walkable and more sustainable. The most effective way to combat urban heat stress is the provision of shade – ideally by covering large portions of the pedestrian realm with healthy, broad tree canopies. This is a complex and expensive endeavor, however, and our research is aimed at developing tools with which urban planners can prioritize their interventions in order to plant trees where they can have the maximum benefit. This presentation will summarize two parts of this work: in the first part, we use an extensive campaign of mobile on-site microclimatic measurements in Tel Aviv to calibrate a model for the mapping of pedestrian thermal comfort, and in the second part we address the “walkability” of different urban street segments based on a large-scale observational study of pedestrian behavior and the tendency to choose shaded paths over those with differing extents of solar exposure.

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