Assessing the Role of Vegetation Cover Change on Urban Fluxes and Temperatures Using an Urban Land-Surface Model

Catherine Crilly

Source: Coutts A, Beringer J & Tapper N. 2008. ‘Changing Urban Climate and CO2 Emissions: Implications for the Development of Policies for Sustainable Cities’. Melbourne: Monash University.

The project assessed the nature of the urban heat island (UHI) and potential UHI mitigation strategies, focusing upon increased vegetation cover as a primary method. The benefits of increased vegetative cover for UHI mitigation include enhanced carbon sequestration and removal of air pollution, as well as improved urban water infrastructure and amenity. The nature of this research project specifically aimed to isolate the thermal and radiative relationships between urban vegetation and the surrounding built environment, with the city of Melbourne, Australia, utilised as a study site. Modelling techniques were used and validated against observational data to identify daily and seasonal flux relationships, which were found to be non-linear and demonstrated that 20% less vegetation cover within an urban environment significantly increases urban temperatures.

Prof Jason Beringer