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The urban cool island phenomenon in a high-rise high-density city and its mechanisms

Yang, Xinyan, Li, Yuguo, Luo, Zhiwen ORCID: and Chan, Pak Wai 2017. The urban cool island phenomenon in a high-rise high-density city and its mechanisms. International Journal of Climatology 37 (2) , pp. 890-904. 10.1002/joc.4747

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The urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon has been studied extensively, but there are relatively fewer reports on the so-called urban cool island (UCI) phenomenon. We reveal here that the UCI phenomenon exists in Hong Kong during the day and is associated with the UHI at night under all wind and cloud conditions. The possible mechanisms for the UCI phenomenon in such a high-rise compact city have been discovered using a lumped urban air temperature model. A new concept of urban cool island degree hours (UCIdh) to measure the UCI intensity and duration is proposed. Our analyses reveal that when anthropogenic heat is small or absent, a high-rise, and high-density city experiences a significant daytime UCI effect. This is explained by an intensified heat storage capacity and the reduced solar radiation gain of urban surfaces. However, if anthropogenic heat in the urban area increases further, the UCI phenomenon still exists; yet, UCIdh decrease dramatically in a high-rise compact city. In a low-rise, low-density city, the UCI phenomenon also occurs when there is no anthropogenic heat, but easily disappears when there is little anthropogenic heat, and the UHI phenomenon dominates. This probably explains why the UHI phenomenon is often observed, but the UCI phenomenon is rarely observed. The co-existence of urban heat/cool island phenomena implies reduction of the daily temperature range in such cities, and its dependence on urban morphology also implies that urban morphology can be used to control the urban thermal environment.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0899-8418
Date of Acceptance: 22 March 2016
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 11:46

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