Modelling tool to help fight urban heat island effect

Researchers in Singapore are developing an urban microclimatic modelling tool to help city planners design countermeasures to combat the country’s urban heat island effect.

Quality of life in densely populated, highly built-up Singapore is deteriorating due to the urban heat island effect, in which the urban area is warmer than the surrounding rural areas due to human economic development. The phenomenon is only expected to worsen in coming years as a result of rapid population growth and expanding urban development.

To prevent this from happening, a team of researchers at the A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) Institute of High Performance Computing are developing an urban microclimatic modelling tool specifically designed for Singapore’s urban landscapes, according to an article by A*STAR. The tool provides mapping data for temperatures, wind, solar irradiation and shading, which can then be used by city planners to design urban heat island countermeasures. The tool can even produce accurate wind and thermal distribution predictions to an actual urban built-up district.

“Our multi-physics urban microclimatic modelling tool is considered a pioneer work in the building and urban physics research field. It has great potential for breakthrough and innovation,” says Dr. Poh Hee Joo from A*STAR.

As a next step, the team plans to combine outdoor environmental design with indoor thermal comfort analysis, particularly for buildings with an open atrium and passive design.


Photo credit: Michi Loheit, flickr/Creative Commons


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