Beating urban heat: Multimeasure-centric solution sets and a complementary framework for decision-making

Yongling Zhao, Sushobhan Sen, Tiziana Susca, Jacopo Iaria, Aytaç Kubilay, Kanchane Gunawardena, Xiaohai Zhou, Yuya Takane, Yujin Park, Xiaolin Wang, Andreas Rubin, Yifan Fan, Chao Yuan, Ronita Bardhan, Dominique Derome, Diana Ürge-Vorsatz, Jan Carmeliet

Urban areas are experiencing excessive heating. Addressing the heat is a challenging but essential task where not only engineering and climatic knowledge matters but also a deep understanding of social and economic dimensions. We synthesize the state of the art in heat mitigation technologies and develop an ‘ITE index’ framework that evaluates the investment (I), time for implementation (T), and effectiveness (E) of candidate heat mitigation measures. Using this framework, we assess 247 multimeasure-centric solution sets composed of all possible combinations of 8 individual measures. The multidimensional ITE index is quantified for heat mitigation effectiveness based on different urban scales, investment levels, the impact of local climate zones (LCZs), and professionals’ perceptions using the analytical hierarchy process. The top 50 unique solution sets consist of 4–7 individual measures across all LCZs, with the use of thermally efficient buildings and high-efficiency indoor cooling being the two recurrent measures contributing to the best solution sets. While every city varies in terms of its ideal solution sets, we provide a multimeasure-centric framework for decision-making in which different dimensions can be integrated, understood, and quantified.

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