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Arizona State University (ASU) 2019

Exploring the Relationship between Design and Outdoor Thermal Comfort in Hot and Dry Climate

Dzyuban, Yuliya

Titre : Exploring the Relationship between Design and Outdoor Thermal Comfort in Hot and Dry Climate

Auteur : Dzyuban, Yuliya

Université de soutenance : Arizona State University (ASU)

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2019

Résumé
Moderate physical activity, such as walking and biking, positively affects physical and mental health. Outdoor thermal comfort is an important prerequisite for incentivizing an active lifestyle. Thus, extreme heat poses significant challenges for people who are outdoors by choice or necessity. The type and qualities of built infrastructure determine the intensity and duration of individual exposure to heat. As cities globally are shifting priorities towards non-motorized and public transit travel, more residents are expected to experience the city on their feet. Thus, physical conditions as well as psychological perception of the environment that affect thermal comfort will become paramount. Phoenix, Arizona, is used as a case study to examine the effectiveness of current public transit and street infrastructure to reduce heat exposure and affect the thermal comfort of walkers and public transit users.

The City of Phoenix has committed to public transit improvements in the Transportation 2050 plan and has recently adopted a Complete Streets Policy. Proposed changes include mobility improvements and creating a safe and comfortable environment for non-motorized road participants. To understand what kind of improvements would benefit thermal comfort the most, it is necessary to understand heat exposure at finer spatial scales, explore whether current bus shelter designs are adequate in mitigating heat-health effects, and comprehensively assess the impact of design on physical, psychological and behavioral aspects of thermal comfort. A study conducted at bus stops in one Phoenix neighborhood examined grey and green infrastructure types preferred for cooling and found relationships between perception of pleasantness and thermal sensation votes. Walking interviews conducted in another neighborhood event examined the applicability of a framework for walking behavior under the stress of heat, and how differences between the streets affected perceptions of the walkers. The interviews revealed that many of the structural themes from the framework of walking behavior were applicable, however, participants assessed the majority of the elements in their walk from a heat mitigation perspective. Finally, guiding questions for walkability in hot and arid climates were developed based on the literature review and results from the empirical studies. This dissertation contributes to filling the gap between walkability and outdoor thermal comfort, and presents methodology and findings that can be useful to address walkability and outdoor thermal comfort in the world’s hot cities as well as those in temperate climates that may face similar climate challenges in the future as the planet warms.

Sujets : Sustainability / Urban planning / Environmental studies / heat mitigation / outdoor thermal comfort / public transit infrastructure / urban design / walkability

Présentation

Page publiée le 20 octobre 2020