Parametric Analysis Of The Outdoor Thermal Comfort Conditions Of Partially Shaded Urban Spaces In The Tropical Context Of Malaysia
The rapid urban expansion in East-Asian cities in recent years has radically increased the need for more liveable outdoor environments. However, in the tropics, due to the abundant solar radiation and the high levels of air temperature and relative humidity, design failures occur once the outdoor spaces are not designed considering the microclimatic conditions. Observing the substantial impacts of urban heat island (UHI) in urban areas with higher level of dense construction development, the thermal performance of urban areas is even more critical. This means that not responding to the microclimatic conditions of the tropics can lead to the creation of outdoor spaces with high level of thermal discomfort and low frequency of use. In this regard, literature demonstrates that the thermal performance characteristics of outdoor environment are predominantly influenced by the urban morphology, built environment, ground surface covering, evaporation and evapotranspiration of vegetation and shading by trees and human-made activities and objects. In particular, natural elements such as vegetation and water bodies can significantly reduce the heat in outdoor urban spaces, particularly in typical hot sunny days. In the context of this research, outdoor thermal conditions are assessed through quantitative field measurements and parametric simulation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The study targets to investigate the thermal performance characteristics of different urban areas based on versatile design configurations and vegetation options under partly cloudy, overcast, or rainy sky conditions. Likewise, the study aims to simulate the thermal interactions within the selected urban environment in order to identify the effectiveness of available heat mitigation strategies and to contribute to design guidelines for creating more thermally comfortable outdoor spaces in the urban spaces within the tropical climate. Findings reveal that designing climate-responsive green urban spaces, as an indicator of urban sustainability in environmental education, can provide comfort, satisfaction and human health for users in the outdoor spaces while reducing the air conditioning demand in buildings.
Keywords- Urban Space, Urban Greening, Sustainable Development, Outdoor Thermal Comfort