How to make a city climate-proof, addressing the urban heat island effect

L Kleerekoper, M van Esch, TB Salcedo Rahola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

394 Citations (Scopus)


The climate of a city influences the ways in which its outdoor spaces are used. Especially public spaces intended for use by pedestrians and cyclists, such as parks, squares, residential and shopping streets, and foot- and cycle-paths will be used and enjoyed more frequently when they have a comfortable and healthy climate. Due to a predicted global temperature rise, the climate is likely to be more uncomfortable in the Netherlands, especially in summer, when an increase in heat stress is expected. As the phenomenon of urban heat islands (UHI) aggravates heat stresses, the effects will be more severe in urban environments. Since the spatial characteristics of a city influence its climate, urban design can be deployed to mitigate the combined effects of climate change and UHI's. This paper explores these effects and tries to provide tools for urban design and strategies for implementation. Consequently, the applicability of the design tools is tested in a design for two existing Dutch neighbourhoods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Issue numberJuly
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • The urban heat island effect
  • Urban climate
  • Urban design and planning


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