Evaluating the contribution of urban ecosystem services in regulating thermal comfort

Abstract

The study focuses on spatio-temporal dynamics of urban ecosystem services (UES) and their contribution in maintaining thermal comfort in Bhubaneswar city, India. An extensive increase in UES demand (grey) patches (187.95%) was observed during 1992–2016 in contrast to significant decline (47.94%) in UES supply (blue–green) patches, primarily in the northern and south–western directions. Also, a drastic rise in area under thermally highly uncomfortable zone (35–40 °C) from 0.005 to 56.68 km2 and a decrease in area of thermally comfortable zone (≤ 26 °C) from 0.46 km2 to zero during 1992–2016 exhibiting deteriorating natural urban living condition. Although, the land surface temperature (LST) was remained higher in urban areas, the peri-urban and neighbouring rural areas (27.31–33.98 °C) of Bhubaneswar city recorded a high increase in mean LST as compared to the urban areas (31.19–34.69 °C). In both the cases, UHI intensities were less as compared to other growing cities of India. The MODIS based time series analysis depicted similar trends with minor increase in LST (30.55–30.76 °C) during 2000–16. The study proves the intrinsic linkages of UES with thermal comfort and necessitates to adopt sustainable measures to make the city green and habitable.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are very thankful to the anonymous reviewers and editors for their valuable comments, which have brought substantial changes in the manuscript. The authors acknowledge the United States Geological Survey for making available the LANDSAT freely and Google Earth Engine for facilitating the access to the archive of publicly available satellite imagery and processing modules.

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Correspondence to Amit Kumar.

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Chaudhuri, S., Kumar, A. Evaluating the contribution of urban ecosystem services in regulating thermal comfort. Spat. Inf. Res. 29, 71–82 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41324-020-00336-8

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Keywords

  • Urban ecosystem services
  • Thermal comfort
  • Land surface temperature
  • Surface urban heat island
  • Geoinformatics