Quantification of the influence of thermal comfort and life patterns on outdoor space activities

  • Dayi LaiEmail author
  • Bingqian Chen
  • Kuixing Liu
Research Article Building Thermal, Lighting, and Acoustics Modeling


Urban spaces offer considerable social, health, environmental, and economic benefits to cities and citizens. As a result, attracting more people to urban outdoor spaces is a goal of sustainable urban planning. This study conducted field surveys in a park in Tianjin, in northern China, to study the impacts of thermal comfort and life patterns on the intensity of activity in urban spaces. Analysis of the data found that subjects who engaged in intense activity were less sensitive to cold than to heat. The attendance of people with children exhibited a very high rate of decrease as the thermal environment became unfavorable. When the thermal environment changed from cold to hot, people in the park adapted by moving from open to shaded spaces. This study revealed that different activities followed distinctive patterns. Intense activity occurred mainly in the afternoon, attending to children occurred primarily in the morning, and low-intensity activity happened all day, but its occurrence decreased at noon. By incorporating the impact of thermal comfort and life patterns, this study developed a mixed-influence model to analyze the hourly usage rate in the park. The findings of this study are useful for designers seeking to create sustainable and attractive open spaces.


urban open space outdoor activity life patterns thermal comfort urban planning 


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This research was supported by Shanghai Sailing Program of Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality through Grant No. 19YF1424000. This research also receives support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51708400).


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture, School of DesignShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Tianjin Key Laboratory of Indoor Air Environmental Quality Control, School of Environmental Science and EngineeringTianjin UniversityTianjinChina
  3. 3.School of ArchitectureTianjin UniversityTianjinChina

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