Mitigating the Urban Heat Island Effect in Mediterranean Climate

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The study examines the use of green spaces as solutions to mitigate the urban heat island effect (UHI) and as a climate adaptation measure to climate change. The researchers aim to model Mediterranean urban parks as cooling islands, maximising its effects using high spatial resolution information.

Warm to hot and dry summers with mild winters characterise the Mediterranean climate. Green spaces have heat alleviating effects for city dwellers, and offer multiple benefits such as generating shades, increases humidity through evapotranspiration, reduce air and noise pollutions. Trees and vegetation can also store carbon, serves as habitats for biodiversity in urban areas.

The study finds that using urban green infrastructure or green spaces particularly those with a higher density of trees can:

  • regulate and create an urban microclimate with natural land covers;
  • alleviate temperature by 1-3 degree Celsius;
  • increases moisture by 2-8%; and
  • influencing temperatures of up to 60 meters beyond its borders.

To maximize the green space effects, the study asks the following questions:

  • Which factors influence temperature and relative humidity of green and grey areas?
  • What type of vegetation contributes the most to the cooling effect?
  • What is the distance of influence of green and grey areas?

The use of effective landscape planning and management is vital to take full advantage of the cooling effects and other benefits of green spaces, the study says.

To read the entire study, CLICK on the link below:

Sources citation:

Grilo, Filipa & Pinho, Pedro & Aleixo, Cristiana & Catita, Cristina & Silva, Patrícia & Lopes, Nuno & Freitas, Catarina & Santos-Reis, Margarida & McPhearson, Timon & Branquinho, Cristina. (2020). Using green to cool the grey: Modelling the cooling effect of green spaces with a high spatial resolution. Science of The Total Environment. Retrieved from

PHOTO CREDIT: Fira – Santorini, Greece by Karl Hipolito

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