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How do shading and cooling of urban forests across the University of British Columbia Vancouver Campus affect building temperatures? Chen, Yujie


Understanding temporal and spatial variations in environmental conditions is important for determining how urban forests affect ecological communities at the local scale. This study aims to use LiDAR data to investigate how shading and cooling affect urban forests at the UBC Vancouver campus within an ecosystem services framework. To quantify the cooling and shading effects of urban forests on the UBC Vancouver campus, it is first necessary to obtain a general understanding of the spatial and temporal variations in campus temperature to identify areas that have experienced dramatic temperature changes. Next is to analyze the relationship between temperature and multiple environmental factors, including tree characteristics and ground conditions based on local context. The last step is to weigh the importance of each variable to assess the vulnerability and resilience of the region in coping with summer heat waves and mitigating the Urban Heat Islands (UHI) effect. The results showed the mean temperature range of the whole study area was higher than 15◦C, which was closely related to the specific environmental factors such as canopy height, canopy area, and canopy density. This study went further to illustrate that cross-comparisons of the importance of each environmental factor to temperature changes can help predict the distribution of heat in cities and the resistance of regions to heat waves. Additional research is needed on identifying and assessing other critical variables that mitigate the UHI effect.

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