chapter  11
18 Pages

Tropical Urban Street Canyons

WithElias Salleh

Cities are generally made up of densely developed built forms, mainly buildings, with variable active and passive open spaces in between them. These urban open spaces comprise large open spaces, for instance urban parks, and smaller spaces in between buildings to which the term “urban canyon” is normally applied. This article discusses the urban street canyon as an important element of urban design in the tropics, and focuses on its microclimatic impact on the thermal environment. The latter involves quantitative assessment of the parameters affecting the thermal environment of tropical urban street canyons with specific reference to Kuala Lumpur. The comfort index used was the Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) developed by Fanger (1970) while an existing urban climate model URBAN3, originally developed by Terjung and Louie (1974), was used to determine the surface energy budgets, surface temperatures of urban canyons and building systems, and urban canyon shading. It is hoped that the findings from this study can beneficially inform the process of designing appropriate urban street canyons in the tropics.