Outdoor thermal comfort in various microentrepreneurial settings in hot humid tropical Kolkata: Human biometeorological assessment of objective and subjective parameters

Shreya Banerjee, Ariane Middel, Subrata Chattopadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Extreme heat and associated health risks increasingly become threats to urban populations, especially in developing countries of the tropics. Although human thermal exposure in cities has been studied across the globe, current narratives insufficiently discuss mixed-used spaces, informal economic activity settings, and informal settlements. This study assessed outdoor human thermal comfort in the tropical city of Kolkata, India where uncomfortable hot and humid climatic conditions prevail year-round. Thermal Comfort Perception Surveys (TCPS) and biometeorological observations were conducted during summer and winter in three microentrepreneurial neighborhoods (Kumartuli, Boipara, and Mallickghat). A one-way ANOVA was performed to investigate the variance in Physiologically Equivalent Temperature (PET) values of 318 survey samples across neighborhoods. Through multiple linear regression and ANCOVA, significant relationships were established between various climatic and non-climatic parameters. No respondent reported a neutral thermal sensation during the summer. Annual neutral PET across neighborhoods was 23.6 °C with a neutral PET range of 19.5 °C to 27.6 °C. Annual neutral PET was 22.7 °C and 26.5 °C in Mallickghat and Boipara, respectively. Respondents in Boipara were more sensitive towards warmer sensation than in Mallickghat. Even in the winter, people reported warmer sensation votes. PET was a better predictor of the mean Thermal Sensation Vote (mTSV) compared to air temperature. In a few cases, acclimatization and expectations improved thermal comfort. Results can be useful in formulating strategies towards improving outdoor microclimate and heat health in tropical cities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number137741
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume721
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2020

Keywords

  • Informal outdoor microenterprises
  • Outdoor thermal comfort
  • Overall Sensation Vote (OSV)
  • Physiological equivalent temperature
  • Thermal neutrality
  • Thermal perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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