Turning down the heat: An enhanced understanding of the relationship between urban vegetation and surface temperature at the city scale

Duncan, J, Boruff, B, Saunders, A, Sun, Q, Hurley, J and Amati, M 2018, 'Turning down the heat: An enhanced understanding of the relationship between urban vegetation and surface temperature at the city scale', Science of The Total Environment, vol. 656, pp. 118-128.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Turning down the heat: An enhanced understanding of the relationship between urban vegetation and surface temperature at the city scale
Author(s) Duncan, J
Boruff, B
Saunders, A
Sun, Q
Hurley, J
Amati, M
Year 2018
Journal name Science of The Total Environment
Volume number 656
Start page 118
End page 128
Total pages 11
Publisher Elsevier BV
Abstract Guiding urban planners on the cooling returns of different configurations of urban vegetation configurations is important to protect urban dwellers from adverse heat impacts. To this end, we estimated statistical models that fused multi-temporal very fine spatial (20 cm) and vertical (1 mm) resolution imagery, that captures the complexity of urban vegetation, with remotely sensed temperature data to assess how urban vegetation configuration influences urban temperatures. Perth, Western Australia, was used as a case-study for this analysis. Panel regression models showed that within a location an increase in tree and shrub cover has a larger cooling effect than grass coverage. On average, holding all else equal, an approximate 1 km2 increase in shrub (tree) cover within a location reduces surface temperatures by 12°C (5°C). We included a range of robustness checks for the observed relationships between urban vegetation type and temperature. Geographically weighted regression models showed spatial variation in the local cooling effect of different vegetation types; this indicates that i) unobserved factors moderate temperaturevegetation relationships across urban landscapes, and ii) that urban vegetation type and temperature relationships are complex. Machine learning models (Random Forests) were used to further explore complex and non-linear relationships between different urban vegetation configurations and temperature. The Random Forests showed that vegetation type explained 31.84% of the out-of-bag variance in summer surface temperatures, that increased cover of large vegetation within a location increases cooling, and that different configurations of urban vegetation structure can lead to cooling gains. The models in this study were trained with vegetation data capturing local detail, multiple time-periods, and entire city coverage. Thus, these models, illustrate the potential to develop locally-detailed and spatially explicit tools to guide planning of vegetatio
Subject Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Land Use and Environmental Planning
Keyword(s) Urban vegetation
land surface temperature (LST)
urban heat island (UHI)
geographically weighted regression (GWR)
machine learning
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.11.223
Copyright notice © 2018 Published by Elsevier B.V
ISSN 0048-9697
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