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Urban spaces and the micro-climate

Which micro-climate factors are important when designing public spaces? In this article, Dr Jennie Sjöholm discusses some significant aspects.
Aerial view of Barcelona
© Photo by Nick Wehrli, Pexels
The use of public space is partly dependent on the micro-climate. There are differences between warm and cold climate, and there are differences between the micro-climate both over a 24-hour period, and between different seasons.

Depending on where you are located, aspects such as solar access, shade, wind, and precipitation matter for outdoor comfort. The way you design spaces, for instance the layout of street patterns or the location and the height of buildings, will have a micro-climatic impact. Other, more temporary, measures can also be taken to improve the micro-climate, for instance to provide shade or shelter from wind and precipitation.

To shape successful urban spaces, the design of a place should be adapted to the micro-climate. Important aspects include:

  • The location of the town

  • The height of buildings

  • The space between buildings

  • Orientation of streets

  • Street widths

  • Green spaces

  • Design of buildings

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Placemaking and Public Space Design: Unlocking Design Potential

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