Skip main navigation

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

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

This article is from the free online

Placemaking and Public Space Design: Unlocking Design Potential

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education