Land Architecture, Demographic-Economic Factors, and Land Surface Temperature In Residential Neighborhoods of Phoenix, AZ

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Monday, 5 January 2015
Xiaoxiao Li, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; and W. Li, B. Turner II, and A. J. Brazel

This study seeks to determine the role of land architecture—the composition and configuration—and demographic-economic factors as they affect land surface temperature (LST) and the surface urban heat island effect in Phoenix, Arizona. It employs 1 m National Agricultural Imagery Program data of land-cover with 120 m Landsat-derived land surface temperature, a new measure of configuration, the normalized measure of inertia, and U.S. Census data to address the question for 523 randomly selected residential neighborhoods (census blocks) in the city. The results indicate, for the first time, that land configuration maintains a strong or slightly stronger role in LST than land composition; that land architecture maintains a stronger role on LST than demographic-economic factors; and that combined land architecture and demographic-economic factors provide the strongest relationship with LST. These results indicate that the land architecture of Phoenix neighborhoods plays a significant role in surface urban heat island effect, regardless of other factors. It suggests that attention to land architecture in the development of or reshaping of neighborhoods may ameliorate the extremes of the urban heat island.