Landscape Ecology

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 745–760 | Cite as

Micro-scale urban surface temperatures are related to land-cover features and residential heat related health impacts in Phoenix, AZ USA

  • G. Darrel Jenerette
  • Sharon L. Harlan
  • Alexander Buyantuev
  • William L. Stefanov
  • Juan Declet-Barreto
  • Benjamin L. Ruddell
  • Soe Win Myint
  • Shai Kaplan
  • Xiaoxiao Li
Research Article

Abstract

Context

With rapidly expanding urban regions, the effects of land cover changes on urban surface temperatures and the consequences of these changes for human health are becoming progressively larger problems.

Objectives

We investigated residential parcel and neighborhood scale variations in urban land surface temperature, land cover, and residents’ perceptions of landscapes and heat illnesses in the subtropical desert city of Phoenix, AZ USA.

Methods

We conducted an airborne imaging campaign that acquired high resolution urban land surface temperature data (7 m/pixel) during the day and night. We performed a geographic overlay of these data with high resolution land cover maps, parcel boundaries, neighborhood boundaries, and a household survey.

Results

Land cover composition, including percentages of vegetated, building, and road areas, and values for NDVI, and albedo, was correlated with residential parcel surface temperatures and the effects differed between day and night. Vegetation was more effective at cooling hotter neighborhoods. We found consistencies between heat risk factors in neighborhood environments and residents’ perceptions of these factors. Symptoms of heat-related illness were correlated with parcel scale surface temperature patterns during the daytime but no corresponding relationship was observed with nighttime surface temperatures.

Conclusions

Residents’ experiences of heat vulnerability were related to the daytime land surface thermal environment, which is influenced by micro-scale variation in land cover composition. These results provide a first look at parcel-scale causes and consequences of urban surface temperature variation and provide a critically needed perspective on heat vulnerability assessment studies conducted at much coarser scales.

Keywords

Urban heat island Parcel MASTER Land surface temperature Social surveys Vulnerability 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Darrel Jenerette
    • 1
  • Sharon L. Harlan
    • 2
  • Alexander Buyantuev
    • 3
  • William L. Stefanov
    • 4
  • Juan Declet-Barreto
    • 2
    • 5
  • Benjamin L. Ruddell
    • 6
  • Soe Win Myint
    • 7
  • Shai Kaplan
    • 8
  • Xiaoxiao Li
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of Botany and Plant SciencesUniversity of California RiversideRiversideUSA
  2. 2.School of Human Evolution and Social ChangeArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Geography and PlanningUniversity at Albany, State University of New YorkAlbanyUSA
  4. 4.Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Division, Exploration Integration and Science DirectorateNASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space CenterHoustonUSA
  5. 5.Natural Resources Defense CouncilWashington, DCUSA
  6. 6.Fulton Schools of EngineeringArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  7. 7.School of Geographical Sciences and Urban PlanningArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  8. 8.The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert ResearchBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeershebaIsrael
  9. 9.Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of SustainabilityArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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