658 Reducing Heat Risks through Large Urban Parks: Direct and Indirect Benefits from a Tropical Case Study

Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Winston T. L. Chow, National Univ. of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore; and R. Oh, C. Kho, and S. L. Heng

In cities, development and management of "natural" green spaces can be viewed as an important and effective approach towards mitigating detrimental environmental impacts, such as exposure to urban heat islands and outdoor thermal discomfort. Increased urban greenery within city parks unequivocally reduce urban warmth through increased evapotranspiration and direct shading of the surface. From an urban ecosystems services framework, the climate regulation services provided by green spaces are essential towards developing resilient and/or sustainable cities under climate change. In this study, we present an overview of how heat risk is mitigated in the tropical city-state of Singapore through the management of two large urban parks. We examine the effectiveness of climate regulation services from urban warmth enabled by the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. We analyse seasonal climate data (e.g. air and globe temperatures, wind and humidity) taken from in-situ stations within each park having different micro-scale vegetation composition and configuration characteristics, and compare these climate data with concurrent thermal sensation and preference surveys of park users. Preliminary results indicate substantial variations in intra-park cooling effectiveness and thermal comfort, and understanding these differences can yield useful insights for stakeholders keen on directly reducing heat exposure in tropical urban environments through increasing city greenery. Lastly, we also consider other ecosystem services provided by these two urban parks that potentially enhance indirect benefits in reducing health risks to extreme heat.
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