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Climate zones & weather

Which factors are important when designing public space in different regions? In this article, Dr Jennie Sjöholm discusses some significant aspects.
Weather forecast symbols

Weather is the short-term atmospheric conditions at a location, whereas climate is the average weather over a long period of time. There are different ways to define climate zones, but a common way is to use the Köppen classification system.

Here, five main categories are: tropical, dry, temperate, continental, and polar. These can in turn be subdivided, based on the seasonal precipitation type and the temperature, but also the type of vegetation.

For instance, tropical climate zones can be differentiated by whether they have rainforest, monsoon, or savannah climate. The savannah climate, in turn, can be characterised as either having a dry winter or dry summer.

Dry climate can be desert or semi-arid, and either hot or cold.

Temperate climates are divided by being mediterranean with hot, warm, or cold summers; humid subtropical; oceanic; subpolar oceanic; or subtropical with dry, or dry and humid, winters.

Continental climate can be characterised by having hot or warm summers, being subarctic, or subarctic with severe winters.

Polar climate can be differentiated between being tundra climate or ice cap climate.

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Placemaking and Public Space Design: Unlocking Design Potential

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