A Pilot Study on the Urban Heat Island Effect of Hong Kong High Density Urban Areas by Utilizing the Weather Research and Forecasting with Its Urban Canopy Model (WRF-UCM) (1 Jan 13- 31 Mar 14)
• Researchers: REN Chao, YIM Hung Lam Steve, Alan LAI
• Funding Amount: HK$50,220
• Funding source: CUHK Research Committee Funding (Direct Grants)

Facing fast urbanization, a sustainable high density urban development is an evitable challenge for planners and policy makers. Hong Kong is a high density city located in the sub-tropical climate region. In summer, high temperature, high humidity and weak wind can make people felt discomfort and heat related stress. Given the urban heat island (UHI) effect, local citizens' thermal comfort condition can be worse in summer. Considering the complicated urban morphology and hilly terrain of Hong Kong, thus there is a need to analyse the UHI effect holistically and spatially. In this study, we propose to adapt the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) with Urban Canopy Models (UCM) to estimate the vertical source and sink distributions of heat, moisture and momentum from buildings within the urban canopy and investigate the relationship between high dense/compact urban morphology and urban climate. To better understand the UHI effects, one temporal scale is proposed to be focused on: a 24-hour time series of a typical summer day with temperature and high humidity. The simulated results will be shown in spatial mapping format. With this information, various mitigation measures could be assessed and could be proposed to policy makers. The proposed study will contribute to scholarly understanding of the Hong Kong UHI effect under typical summer conditions. In practice, the findings on UHI mitigation measures will provide planners and designers with a useful reference to assist their design for creating a high density but sustainable urban living. (SS12525)