Impact of blue space geometry on urban heat island mitigation

Petros Ampatzidis, Carlo Cintolesi, Tristan Kershaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)
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A growing body of literature recognises the importance of nature-based solutions in providing resilience to the effects of climate change by mitigating urban heat islands. However, a knowledge gap exists regarding the contribution of blue spaces to the urban environment. Recent evidence suggests that blue spaces within urban canyons can promote pollutant removal via the vertical transport of air under certain conditions, but this is inconclusive. Using a numerical solver that accounts for evaporation effects, we investigate the influence of blue space size and shape on the in-canyon flow structure, temperature and water vapour distribution. Simulations were performed for water bodies of varying size and shape at different temperatures compared to the surrounding air. Results suggest that inadequately sized warmer water bodies are unable to promote sufficient vertical transport for pollutant removal, leading to overturning and increased temperature and humidity levels at the pedestrian level, thereby worsening environmental conditions and increasing the risk of heat-related illness and mortality. Hence, larger water bodies are better suited to nocturnal transport of pollutants and accumulated warm air away from the urban surface, while smaller water bodies are better suited to providing localised evaporative cooling. Lastly, irregular water bodies may have a greater cooling effect across a larger area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
Issue number2
Early online date19 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Petros Ampatzidis is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) “Decarbonisation of the Built Environment” CDT grant number EP/L016869/1.
Data Availability Statement
The data presented in this study are available on request from the corresponding author.


  • CFD
  • OpenFOAM
  • RANS
  • blue space
  • evaporation
  • nature-based solutions
  • water bodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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