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Planning for cooler cities: a framework to prioritize zones for Urban Heat Island (UHI) mitigation. A case study of Kampala,Uganda.

Ferrario, Chiara Luisa (2021) Planning for cooler cities: a framework to prioritize zones for Urban Heat Island (UHI) mitigation. A case study of Kampala,Uganda.

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Abstract:The problem of increasing temperature in urban areas compared to their rural surroundings, known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, also concerns fast-growing cities in the sub-Saharan region. These cities are commonly lacking mitigation and adaptation tools in the urban planning and design processes: this is also the case of Kampala, Uganda. Previous studies have shown a limited usage of zoning tools by municipalities to explicitly address climatic and environmental issues, in addition to the ones based upon socio-economic functionalities. One available zone-based analysis method which captures the variation of urban temperature is the Local Climate Zone (LCZ) classification method. Nevertheless, the LCZ framework alone is insufficient to help urban planners to identify priority zones for UHI mitigation. Therefore, the goal of this study is to demonstrate how a methodology framework can provide new means for urban planners to prioritize UHI mitigation targets, with the support of the LCZ scheme. The proposed methodology framework spans across multiple scales that starts from the city and gradually zooms into the neighborhood scale, and its backbone is the analysis of heat spatial risk. In parallel, LCZ classification is used as a support to identify contributing factors to the increase of temperature and, consequently, to select heat mitigation measures to be applied in the identified priority zones. We question to what extent the UHI effect concerns the city of Kampala by defining meaningful thresholds. Moreover, by analyzing the differences between mean Land Surface Temperatures (LST) in the different LCZs, showing that the warmest areas are the low-rise compact zones (LCZ 7, 2 and 3) which are mainly concentrated in the city center or in proximity thereof. Furthermore, we compare the mean LST of slums to medium-high income residential areas as a justification to select informal settlement dwellers as the vulnerable target group to analyze spatial heat risk in Kampala. A cross-section cutting through Kampala reveals additional insights regarding the complexity of the intra-urban variation of surface temperature. The final phase of the research focuses on how greenery interventions can be practically implemented for heat mitigation in the distinctive context of Kampala. Explicit attention is given to urban farming in informal settlement areas, by considering local initiatives and leveraging existing participatory planning tools to facilitate gradual integration into the local planning culture. Performance evaluation of the proposed methodology shows that in order to avoid overlooking any of the high heat risk zones, a more extensive input dataset is needed to calculate thermal comfort. However, it also highlights the availability of heat-related quantitative data produced by the methodology and the relatively straightforward approach based on open source software that can facilitate its implementation by municipalities in urban planning and design processes.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Spatial Engineering MSc (60962)
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