Urban Heat Island Effect

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Term Info
Urban Heat Island Effect
Category Sustainable Development Terms
Last Edit By FIDIC
E-Mail suggestions [at] fidicterms.org
Last Edit Date 2018-07-02

Urban Heat Island Effect means :

SDABC2015.png The ABC for Sustainable Cities - A glossary for policy makers. 1st edition (2015)

The Urban heat island is a microclimatic phenomenon that occurs in urban areas, and results in a tendency to be hotter than its surroundings. It consists in a significant increasing of the temperature in the urban area respect to the surrounding peri-urban and rural neighbourhoods. This phenomenon is known and studied since eighties and is caused by: physical characteristics of the surfaces: materials composing urban surfaces, such as concrete and asphalt, that absorb rather than reflecting solar radiations; lack of natural evaporative surfaces (vegetation) that, in rural areas, contribute to maintain a stable energy balance; augmentation of the vertical surface that both provide an increased surface absorbing and reflecting solar radiation as well as block winds that could contribute to the lowering of the temperature (canyon effect. (1)

Human activities that mainly consists in heat produced by heating and cooling plants, industrial activities, vehicles, etc.; high level of pollutants that alter the atmosphere.(2)

Based on EU; 2011, Let’s speak sustainable construction Multilingual Glossary, http://www.eesc.europa.eu/resources/docs/eesc-2011-01-en-fr-de-es.pdf; (2) eu-uhi.eu, CENTRAL EUROPE Programme.