The Benefits of Tree Shade and Turf on Globe and Surface Temperatures in an Urban Tropical Environment
Lai Fern Ow, Subhadip Ghosh, and Mohamed Lokman Mohd Yusof
Abstract: The process of urbanisation increases temperature and alters the thermal comfort in cities. Urban heat islands (UHIs) result in the rise of ambient temperatures. For example, in the densely populated island state of Singapore, the UHI intensity was some 4.5 °C. Such elevation in heat can negatively impact outdoor thermal comfort and may give rise to serious health problems. The present study investigated the benefits of trees and turf as mitigation strategies for urban areas. Short- and long-term observations were made for surface and globe temperatures over smaller plots of vegetation and hard surfaces involving tree shade and full sun. Similar observations were investigated over a larger extent of vegetation across concrete, asphalt, and turf within an urban park setting. The presence of turf and shade from trees greatly affected surface temperatures, and the effect was most pronounced when both were present. The presence of turf reduced surface temperatures by up to 10 °C, while tree shade led to a 12 °C reduction. Globe temperatures showed that the presence of turf and shading reduced temperatures between 5 and 10 °C. These results suggest that turf and trees can effectively cool surfaces and improve outdoor thermal comfort. The results of this study can be applied to urban planning of greenery and can be used as a reference for other tropical cities with similar climates that are also working to develop mitigation measures to improve the liveability of their cities.
Keywords: The Benefits of Tree Shade and Turf on Globe and Surface Temperatures in an Urban Tropical Environment