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An analysis of urban form factors driving Urban Heat Island: the case of Izmir

Umut Erdem, K. Mert Cubukcu, Ayyoob Sharifi
Environment, development and sustainability 2021 v.23 no.5 pp. 7835-7859
environment, heat island, land use, mathematical theory, statistics, urban development
The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect is a common phenomenon in many cities across the world that has significant socioeconomic and environmental ramifications. Recognizing the significance of taking measures to mitigate the UHI effect, a vast body of research has been published, over the past few decades, on this topic. Existing research covers various climatic contexts and has significantly improved our understanding of the dynamics of the UHI. However, there is a lack of research on the potential linkages between the physical form of urban streets and the UHI effect. The results of such research can be used to develop planning and design strategies for achieving climate-resilient urban development. As a step toward filling this gap, in this study, we use a mixed-methods approach, involving graph theory and spatial statistics to examine the relationship between the UHI effect and selected urban form measures such as street network connectivity, street network centrality, and land-use in Izmir, Turkey. Results show that the UHI effect is more intense in areas with higher levels of street network centrality. On the contrary, higher connectivity of the urban street network is associated with lower levels of the UHI effect.