Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 115, Issue 1–2, pp 333–340 | Cite as

Thermal bioclimate in idealized urban street canyons in Campinas, Brazil

  • Loyde V. Abreu-Harbich
  • Lucila C. Labaki
  • Andreas Matzarakis
Original Paper


Among several urban design parameters, the height-to-width ratio (H/W) and orientation are important parameters strongly affecting thermal conditions in cities. This paper quantifies changes in thermal comfort due to typical urban canyon configurations in Campinas, Brazil, and presents urban guidelines concerning H/W ratios and green spaces to adapt urban climate change. The study focuses on thermal comfort issues of humans in urban areas and performs evaluation in terms of physiologically equivalent temperature (PET), based on long-term data. Meteorological data of air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and solar radiation over a 7-year period (2003–2010) were used. A 3D street canyon model was designed with RayMan Pro software to simulate the influence of urban configuration on urban thermal climate. The following configurations and setups were used. The model canyon was 500 m in length, with widths 9, 21, and 44 m. Its height varied in steps of 2.5 m, from 5 to 40 m. The canyon could be rotated in steps of 15°. The results show that urban design parameters such as width, height, and orientation modify thermal conditions within street canyons. A northeast–southwest orientation can reduce PET during daytime more than other scenarios. Forestry management and green areas are recommended to promote shade on pedestrian areas and on façades, and to improve bioclimate thermal stress, in particular for H/W ratio less than 0.5. The method and results can be applied by architects and urban planners interested in developing responsive guidelines for urban climate issues.


Thermal Comfort Street Canyon Physiologically Equivalent Temperature Urban Climate Urban Canyon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was sponsored by the Research Support Foundation of the State of São Paulo (FAPESP), Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Level Personnel (CAPES) and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Loyde V. Abreu-Harbich
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Lucila C. Labaki
    • 2
    • 4
  • Andreas Matzarakis
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Architecture and Urban DesignCatholic University of SantosSantosBrazil
  2. 2.School of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Urban DesignState University of CampinasCampinasBrazil
  3. 3.Chair of Meteorology and ClimatologyAlbert-Ludwigs-University FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  4. 4.CampinasBrazil

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