Assessment of seasonal urban outdoor thermal exposure in a humid continental climate

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Aiello, Timothy
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University of Guelph

Many cities experience both extreme heat and cold weather. Pedestrians are exposed to these thermal extremes, causing bodily stress. With growing urban populations, city design contributing to the mitigation of summer heat while reducing winter cold exposure is important. Pedestrian thermal exposure depends on several microclimatic factors, including shortwave and longwave radiation absorption, quantified by the mean radiant temperature (Tmrt). Little research has been conducted on the radiative components of thermal exposure in hot summers and cold winters. We gathered radiation data from urban microclimates in multiple seasons in Guelph, Canada, using a mobile human-biometeorological weather station (MaRTy cart) that applies the six-directional method to determine Tmrt. Datasets were compared to examine the drivers of thermal exposure and recommend mitigation strategies. In summer, shade is the primary factor that reduces daytime heat exposure. In winter, reduced shade alleviated cold exposure, with snow providing daytime benefits from increased solar reflections.

Biometeorology, Microscale urban design, pedestrian thermal exposure, mean radiant temperature, urban snow, extreme heat