Too hot to handle? On the cooling capacity of urban green spaces in a Neotropical Mexican city

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Lemoine-Rodríguez , R , Inostroza , L , Falfán , I & MacGregor-Fors , I 2022 , ' Too hot to handle? On the cooling capacity of urban green spaces in a Neotropical Mexican city ' , Urban Forestry & Urban Greening , vol. 74 , 127633 .

Title: Too hot to handle? On the cooling capacity of urban green spaces in a Neotropical Mexican city
Author: Lemoine-Rodríguez, Richard; Inostroza, Luis; Falfán, Ina; MacGregor-Fors, Ian
Contributor organization: Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme
Date: 2022-08
Language: eng
Number of pages: 11
Belongs to series: Urban Forestry & Urban Greening
ISSN: 1618-8667
Abstract: Urban areas are particularly vulnerable to climate change due to the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, which can be mitigated by urban vegetation through shading and evapotranspiration. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of spatially explicit information on the cooling capacity of green infrastructure for most Latin American cities. In this study, we employed Land Surface Temperature (LST) of the Neotropical Mexican city of Xalapa to (1) analyze its Surface UHI (SUHI) compared to its peri and extra-urban areas, (2) to assess the cooling capacity of urban green spaces larger than 1ha, and (3) to evaluate the role of green spaces’ size, shape and their surrounding tree cover percentage (Tc) on green spaces cooling range. We evaluated the cooling range of green spaces and their relationships with green spaces metrics and Tc via a linear mixed-effect model and identify threshold values for the variables at 25, 50, 100, and 200m from the borders of green spaces through Classification and Regression Trees. Xalapa exhibits a SUHI of 1.70 °C compared to its peri-urban area and 4.95 °C to the extra-urban area. Green spaces > 2ha mitigated heat at ~2 °C and the cooling range was influenced by the size of green spaces ≥ 2.8ha and Tc > 21% at 50m and only by Tc surrounding the green spaces at 100m and 200m. This shows that the size threshold of urban green spaces should be complemented with the presence of Tc starting at least 50m to maximize the cooling capacity provided by the green infrastructure. Planning agendas should account for the interaction between the size of green spaces and the cumulative cooling effect of scattered vegetation inside urban areas towards compact green cities to cope with urban warming.
Subject: 1172 Environmental sciences
Cooling range
Green infrastructure
Heat mitigation
Urban climate
Urban planning
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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