The impact of heat mitigation strategies on the energy balance of a neighborhood in Los Angeles

Mohammad Taleghani, Peter J. Crank, Arash Mohegh, David Sailor, George A. Ban-Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Heat mitigation strategies can reduce excess heat in urban environments. These strategies, including solar reflective cool roofs and pavements, green vegetative roofs, and street vegetation, alter the surface energy balance to reduce absorption of sunlight at the surface and subsequent transfer to the urban atmosphere. The impacts of heat mitigation strategies on meteorology have been investigated in past work at the mesoscale and global scale. For the first time, we focus on the effect of heat mitigation strategies on the surface energy balance at the neighborhood scale. The neighborhood under investigation is El Monte, located in the eastern Los Angeles basin in Southern California. Using a computational fluid dynamics model to simulate micrometeorology at high spatial resolution, we compare the surface energy balance of the neighborhood assuming current land cover to that with neighborhood-wide deployment of green roof, cool roof, additional trees, and cool pavement as the four heat mitigation strategies. Of the four strategies, adoption of cool pavements led to the largest reductions in net radiation (downward positive) due to the direct impact of increasing pavement albedo on ground level solar absorption. Comparing the effect of each heat mitigation strategy shows that adoption of additional trees and cool pavements led to the largest spatial-maximum air temperature reductions at 14:00 h (1.0 and 2.0 °C, respectively). We also investigate how varying the spatial coverage area of heat mitigation strategies affects the neighborhood-scale impacts on meteorology. Air temperature reductions appear linearly related to the spatial extent of heat mitigation strategy adoption at the spatial scales and baseline meteorology investigated here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)604-611
Number of pages8
JournalSolar Energy
Volume177
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Energy balance
  • Heat mitigation strategies
  • Neighborhood scale
  • Urban heat islands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)

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