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

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Monday, 3 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Sachiho A. Adachi, JAMSTEC, Yokohama, Japan; and F. Kimura, H. Kusaka, M. Duda, Y. Yamagata, H. Seya, K. Nakamichi, and T. Aoyagi

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 about 0.34C in the dispersed-city scenario and decreased by about 0.1C in the compact-city scenario. Therefore, the compact-city scenario had a 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, i.e., severe thermal conditions worsened further in the compact-city scenario because of the denser population. This suggests that the compact-city form might better moderate the urban heat-island effect in combination with other mitigation strategies, such as the greening of urban areas, especially in the central area. Furthermore, this scenario would be useful not only for adapting to higher urban temperatures due to global warming but also as for the overall mitigation of global warming.