How do street trees affect urban temperatures and radiation exchange? Observations and numerical evaluation in a highly compact city
Segura, Ricard; Scott Krayenhoff, Eric; Martilli, Alberto; Badia, Alba; Estruch, Carme; Ventura, Sergi; Villalba, Gara
OPEN ACCESS at Urban Climate (2022), Volume 46, 101288 Street trees are an important driver of street microclimate through shading and transpirative cooling, which are key mechanisms […]
OPEN ACCESS at Urban Climate (2022), Volume 46, 101288
Street trees are an important driver of street microclimate through shading and transpirative cooling, which are key mechanisms for improving thermal comfort in urban areas. Urban canopy models (UCM) with integrated trees are useful tools because they represent the impacts of street trees on neighborhood-scale climate, resolving the interactions between buildings, trees and the atmosphere. In this study, we present the results of a measurement campaign where vehicle transects were completed along two similar parallel streets of Barcelona with different tree densities, recording upward and downward radiation fluxes, air temperature and humidity at street level. These observations are used to evaluate and improve the multi-layer UCM Building Effect Parameterization with Trees (BEP-Tree). Prior simulations of the model revealed insufficient heat exchange between the canyon surfaces and the air at the lowest vertical levels inside the deep canyons, which we solve by including turbulent buoyancy driven wind velocity in the model. Air temperatures are on average 1.3 °C higher in the street with sparser trees when wind direction is perpendicular to the streets. The BEP-Tree simulations demonstrate good agreement with the observations in terms of temperature and radiation, and capture the diurnal evolution of temperature and radiation between the two streets.