Microclimatic adaptive opportunities

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Microclimatic Adaptive Opportunities: Towards the Use of Open Spaces in Cities
GABRIEL FELMER PLOMINSKY
AA E+E ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY STUDIES PROGRAMM ARCHITECTURAL ASSOCIATION, GRADUATE SCHOOL MSc / MArch Sustainable Environmental Design Term I 2010-11

JANUARY 2011

1

AA E+E ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY STUDIES PROGRAMM ARCHITECTURAL ASSOCIATION GRADUATE SCHOOL

MSc / MArch SustainableEnvironmental Design

Term I 2010-11

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION 2. THE URBANMICROCLIMATE
2.1. BUILT FORM AND URBAN GEOMETRY 2.2. SURFACES AND VEGETATION 2.3. AIR MOVEMENT AND WIND

04 05 05 05 06 06 07 07 08 08 09 10 12 12 12

3. PEOPLE´S BEHAVIOUR IN URBAN OPEN SPACES.
3.1. OUTDOOR COMFORT 3.2 ADAPTIVE OPORTUNITIES

4. CASE STUDY.
4.1. GOLDEN LANE ESTATE 4.1.1. MICROCLIMATICPARAMETERS 4.1.2. PEOPLE´S BEHAVIOUR AND ADAPTIVE OPPORTUNITIES

5. CONCLUSIONS 6. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 7. REFERENCES

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AA E+E ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY STUDIES PROGRAMM ARCHITECTURAL ASSOCIATION GRADUATE SCHOOL

MSc / MArch Sustainable Environmental Design

Term I 2010-11

Microclimatic Adaptive Opportunities: Towards the Use of Open Spaces in Cities

Abstract: The research paper focuses onmicroclimatic parameters in urban open spaces,
discussing and revising the general principles of outdoor environments in cities and their main repercussions on pedestrian spaces. Accordingly, outdoor comfort and adaptive opportunities are reviewed with the aim of exploring people’s behaviour, recognizing connections with their environment, and, essentially, finding arguments to support theimportance of urban open spaces as a crucial component for social and cultural interaction within cities. To conclude, a case study in central London is proposed to illustrate the concepts studied and summarise fieldwork observations carried out in November 2010.

Keywords: Urban Microclimate, Adaptive Opportunities, urban open spaces, outdoor comfort

1. INTRODUCTION
“Cities have the capability ofproviding something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” (Jacobs 1962) The urban context offers a wide range of open areas indispensable for the development of public activities. Their value partly encourages social and cultural cohesion and partly supports cultural diversity, representing a pure manifestation of the community life within cities. Whatevertheir origin is, open spaces are essential for urban life, as they have a crucial role in cultural expression, social development and fundamentally to promote contact and coexistence between inhabitants (Nikolopoulou 2003). They refer to the cultural richness of a city; the way people exchange experience and interact with their

neighbours and how the community is organised. Jacobs (1962)considered urban open spaces as the most vital organs of the city. However, human activities in urban open spaces also depend on climatic circumstances and how our cities are adapted to guarantee favourable conditions for their achievement. This research paper explores adaptive opportunities in urban open spaces, focusing primarily on the different microclimatic parameters that define urban spaces and theway people respond to them. Evidently, there is a permanent connection between the microclimate and people´s behaviour in an urban context. But how does this correlation perform? How do inhabitants respond to different microclimatic stimulus? When does microclimatic stimulus or human behaviour represent an adaptive opportunity in city´s open spaces? The recent work of Nikolopoulou (2003) suggeststhat urban microclimate can influence the way people use urban spaces and the different

3

AA E+E ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY STUDIES PROGRAMM ARCHITECTURAL ASSOCIATION GRADUATE SCHOOL

MSc / MArch Sustainable Environmental Design

Term I 2010-11

activities that are carried out on them. In relation to this Givoni et al (2003) observes that the exposure to sun, with the particular...
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