Poster Paper: Implications of Design Strategies and Technology Application for Urban Heat Islands: An Investigation of Downtown Austin, Texas

Thursday, July 19, 2018
Buidling 5, Libreria Foyer (Bookstore Foyer) (ITAM)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Niloufar Karimipour and Yu Chen, University of Texas, Austin

Given growing concerns about Urban Heat Islands (UHI), this research aims to document the principal factors contributing to the formation of UHIs and assess how urban design parameters and new technologies such as simulation programs can be used to prevent or mitigate UHIs. Studying literature from three different areas of: Urban Heat Islands causes and impacts, UHI measurement, simulation tools and techniques, and urban design strategies’ influence on urban climate, this research was conducted on a case study of Downtown Austin, Texas, which has been rapidly growing and densifying during the past decade. To characterize and evaluate the impact of the future development proposed for the downtown area in the Downtown Austin Plan (DAP), the UHI measurement tool Urban Weather Generator (UWG), which was developed by Urban Microclimate Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was used to simulate the UHI over Downtown in 2020 and 2039- at the end of the implementation of Downtown Austin Plan. Finally, this study proposes some urban design parameters modification as a solution to mitigate Austin’s intensifying UHI.