Effect of urban vegetation on outdoor thermal environment: Field measurement at a scale model site

Minsun Park, Aya Hagishima, Jun Tanimoto, Ken ichi Narita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


The goal of this research is to bridge the gap between numerical studies and field measurements on thermal environment of a real urban street and to present information on the effects of urban vegetation suitable for use by designers and planners. Outdoor measurements were conducted at a scale model site consisting of an array of concrete cubes each 1.5 m high. Eight urban street units with various vegetation conditions were reproduced to examine the quantitative effects of vegetation along the sidewalk and in median strips on the thermal environment in summer. The results can be summarized as follows. The presence of four sidewalk trees reduces the wind speed inside the canopy by up to 51%. Trees along the sidewalk also decrease the globe temperature; the reduction is attributed mainly to the decrease in radiation flux resulting from the shade they cast. Moreover, thermal mitigation due to vegetation persists even when an area is shaded. In contrast, the mitigating effect of a vegetated median strip is not remarkable. A sidewalk facing a southwestern wall exhibited the most significant thermal mitigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-46
Number of pages9
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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