A spatially explicit approach to simulate urban heat mitigation with InVEST (v3.8.0)

Bosch, Martí; Locatelli, Maxence; Hamel, Perrine; Remme, Roy P.; Chenal, Jérôme; Joost, Stéphane

Mitigating urban heat islands has become an important objective for many cities experiencing heat waves. Despite notable progress, the spatial relationship between land use and/or land cover patterns and the distribution of air temperature remains poorly understood. This article presents a reusable computational workflow to simulate the spatial distribution of air temperature in urban areas from their land use and/or land cover data. The approach employs the InVEST urban cooling model, which estimates the cooling capacity of the urban fabric based on three biophysical mechanisms: tree shade, evapotranspiration and albedo. An automated procedure is proposed to calibrate the parameters of the model to best fit air temperature observations from monitoring stations. In a case study in Lausanne, Switzerland, spatial estimates of air temperature obtained with the calibrated model show that the urban cooling model outperforms spatial regressions based on satellite data. This represents two major advances in urban heat island modeling. First, unlike in black-box approaches, the calibrated parameters of the urban cooling model can be interpreted in terms of the physical mechanisms that they represent; therefore, they can help promote an understanding of how urban heat islands emerge in a particular context. Second, the urban cooling model requires only land use and/or land cover and reference temperature data and can, therefore, be used to evaluate synthetic scenarios such as master plans, urbanization prospects and climate scenarios. The proposed approach provides valuable insights into the emergence of urban heat islands which can serve to inform urban planning and assist the design of heat mitigation policies.



Bosch, Martí / Locatelli, Maxence / Hamel, Perrine / et al: A spatially explicit approach to simulate urban heat mitigation with InVEST (v3.8.0). 2021. Copernicus Publications.


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