Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 617–635 | Cite as

Creating the park cool island in an inner-city neighborhood: heat mitigation strategy for Phoenix, AZ

  • Juan Declet-BarretoEmail author
  • Anthony J. Brazel
  • Chris A. Martin
  • Winston T. L. Chow
  • Sharon L. Harlan


We conducted microclimate simulations in ENVI-Met 3.1 to evaluate the impact of vegetation in lowering temperatures during an extreme heat event in an urban core neighborhood park in Phoenix, Arizona. We predicted air and surface temperatures under two different vegetation regimes: existing conditions representative of Phoenix urban core neighborhoods, and a proposed scenario informed by principles of landscape design and architecture and Urban Heat Island mitigation strategies. We found significant potential air and surface temperature reductions between representative and proposed vegetation scenarios: 1) a Park Cool Island effect that extended to non-vegetated surfaces; 2) a net cooling of air underneath or around canopied vegetation ranging from 0.9 °C to 1.9 °C during the warmest time of the day; and 3) potential reductions in surface temperatures from 0.8 °C to 8.4 °C in areas underneath or around vegetation.


Microclimate simulation Heat island Urban vegetation Heat wave Phoenix Park cool island 



The work presented here is funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. GEO-0816168, Urban Vulnerability to Climate Change. The authors thank Ben Ruddell at the Arizona State University College of Technology and Innovation for comments on an early manuscript, Nancy Selover, Arizona State Climatologist, for providing PRISMS meteorological station data, and Juan Brenes-García, SBD Studio for advice on landscape design. We also thank the editor and anonymous reviewers for helpful commentary that improved this article. The authors accept responsibility, however, for our ideas, results, and interpretations.

Supplementary material

11252_2012_278_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (1.6 mb)
Online Resource 1 (a) dT a between RV and LA Vegetation Scenarios (°C) at 0500 hrs, and (b) LISA Analysis of dT a between RV and LA Vegetation Scenarios (°C) at 0500 hrs. High/high and low/low LISA results are significant at the 95 percent confidence interval. (JPEG 1675 kb)
11252_2012_278_MOESM2_ESM.jpg (1.6 mb)
Online Resource 2 (a) dT a between RV and LA Vegetation Scenarios (°C) at 1700 hrs, and (b) LISA Analysis of dT a between RV and LA Vegetation Scenarios (°C) at 1700 hrs. High/high and low/low LISA results are significant at the 95 percent confidence interval (JPEG 1648 kb)
11252_2012_278_MOESM3_ESM.jpg (1.2 mb)
Online Resource 3 (a) Surface Covers, and (b) Linked-Histogram of T s (°C) for RV Scenario at 1700 hrs. (JPEG 1207 kb)
11252_2012_278_MOESM4_ESM.jpg (1.2 mb)
Online Resource 4 (a) Surface Covers, and (b) Linked-Histogram of T s (°C) for LA Scenario at 1700 hrs. (JPEG 1204 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Declet-Barreto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anthony J. Brazel
    • 2
  • Chris A. Martin
    • 3
  • Winston T. L. Chow
    • 4
  • Sharon L. Harlan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Human Evolution and Social ChangeArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.School of Geographical Sciences and Urban PlanningArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Applied Sciences and MathematicsArizona State UniversityMesaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Engineering, College of Technology and InnovationArizona State UniversityMesaUSA

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