Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/115791
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Type: Journal article
Title: Limits of thermal adaptation in cities: outdoor heat-activity dynamics in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide
Author: Sharifi, E.
Boland, J.
Citation: Architectural Science Review, 2018; 61(4):191-201
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 0003-8628
1758-9622
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Ehsan Sharifi and John Boland
Abstract: Outdoor thermal discomfort discourages outdoor living at the cost of increased demand for indoor air-conditioning. The resulted waste heat from air-conditioning makes a feedback loop with increased outdoor heat stress. Local and seasonal climate expectations, comfort perceptions, demographic specifications, activity choices and socio-cultural norms can affect the adaptation of public life to outdoor heat stress. This paper explores limits of outdoor thermal adaptation in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Outdoor activity observation and microclimate measurement were conducted in 10 selected public spaces between February 2013 and March 2014. Results indicate that before the outdoor thermal environment of UTCI = 22–34°C, there is no significant decline in outdoor living and people adapted their outdoor activities, clothing and activity rate to achieve thermal comfort. Beyond this neutral thermal threshold, outdoor thermal adaptation shifted towards dismissal of optional and social activities and modification of necessary activities. Space configurations, local climate expectations and flexible activity choices may extend outdoor thermal adaptation by the critical zero-activity thresholds of 48°C. Thereafter, outdoor activity prevention can become the dominant thermal adaptation strategy. Localized limits of outdoor thermal adaptation are to be addressed to facilitate more liveable and healthy cities in the context of climate change.
Keywords: Outdoor thermal comfort; thermal adaptation; thermal neutrality; urban microclimates; public space
Rights: © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
RMID: 0030094983
DOI: 10.1080/00038628.2018.1482824
Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications

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