The ability of urban parks to reduce air temperatures of surrounding neighbourhoods: A study of 4 Toronto parks



Slater, Graham Andrew

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University of Guelph


With increasing world population and urbanization, the need for reducing urban temperatures and their associated health consequences is becoming more critical. Vegetated urban parks can be up to 6°C cooler than their urban surroundings; however, conflicting micro-scale research exists on their ability to reduce local urban heat islands. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of park cooling to mitigate the urban heat island effects of their surroundings. Using instruments mounted to the front of a bicycle at 105m above ground level; air temperature, solar radiation, and humidity were measured at 2m intervals along four street-park-street linear transects in Toronto, Ontario. Results indicated that parks were cooler than their surrounding streets, and that park cooling, while variable, can extend almost 100m beyond a park's borders. In conclusion, these findings generate design implications that inform urban park design, creating cooler neighbourhoods, increased human thermal comfort, and climate-sensitive design.



Toronto parks, reduce air temperature, neighbourhoods, urban parks, urban heat island effects