Microclimatic analysis of 'compact' urban canyons in an arid zone

D. Pearlmutter*, A. Bitan, P. Berliner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


While the modifying effects of a city's surface on its climate are well documented, there remains a need for useful micro-scale analyses of thermal comfort conditions which may be applied to urban design. In the present study, empirical data taken from extensive full-scale measurements in a number of low-rise urban street canyons in the arid Negev region of Israel are integrated with an energy-balance model representing the thermal exchanges between a pedestrian and the street canyon environment. Analysis of microclimatic parameters and overall energy balance suggests that in summer, overheating within the canyon is sensed primarily as a nocturnal phenomenon, and that during hours of substantial heat stress in a desert climate, the compact canyon is in fact a potential 'cool island', mainly due to internal solar shading. In winter, a compact geometry was found to provide relatively warm conditions, with the key factor being protection from strong winds during cold night hours. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4143-4150
Number of pages8
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number24-25
StatePublished - Oct 1999
EventProceedings of the 1996 International Conference on Urban Climatology (ICUC'96) - Essen, Ger
Duration: 10 Jun 199614 Jun 1996


  • Microclimate
  • Thermal comfort
  • Urban canyons


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