Thermal comfort in outdoor urban spaces: Analysis across different European countries

M Nikolopoulou, S Lykoudis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

352 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents some of the findings of the European project, RUROS, primarily concerned with the environmental and comfort conditions of open spaces in cities. The results of the microclimatic and human monitoring, in relation to the thermal environment and comfort conditions in open spaces, are presented. The database consists of nearly 10,000 questionnaire guided interviews from field surveys in 14 different case study sites, across five different countries in Europe. The findings confirm a strong relationship between microclimatic and comfort conditions, with air temperature and solar radiation being important determinants of comfort, although one parameter alone is not sufficient for the assessment of thermal comfort conditions. Overall comfort levels are over 75% for all cities on a yearly basis. There is also strong evidence for adaptation taking place, both physically, with the seasonal variation in clothing and changes to the metabolic rate, as well as psychologically. Recent experience and expectations play a major role and are responsible for a variation over 10 °C of neutral temperatures, largely following the profile of the respective climatic temperatures on a seasonal basis, across Europe. In this context, perceived choice over a source of discomfort is another important parameter for people in open spaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1455-1470
Number of pages16
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume41
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006

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