Skip to main content

Cooling Potential of Urban Green Spaces in Summer

Part of the Ecological Research Monographs book series (ECOLOGICAL)


The urban heat island phenomenon has recently become a serious subject of public concern. This chapter aims to clarify the cooling potential of urban green spaces in summer. At first, it shows that green space and anthropogenic heat emission have a great effect on the temperature in downtown areas from the various data collected from 27 observation points in Minato-ku, Tokyo. Then, it clarifies the cooling potential of green spaces. The results of multiple regression analysis, using the mean daily maximum temperatures in August as dependent variables and the size of woodland area and the amount of anthropogenic heat emissions as explanatory variables, showed that an increase in trees contributes to a reduction in temperature in urban areas, and that an increase in the amount of anthropogenic heat emissions causes a rise in temperature. A multiple regression model in equations and a coefficient of correlation among mean daily maximum temperature, woodland area, and amount of anthropogenic heat emissions were obtained as follows: Y = 32.0011 − 0.001(X 1) + 0.0033(X 2), r = 0.7276, where Y = the mean daily maximum temperature, X 1 = woodland area, and X 2 = the amount of anthropogenic heat emissions. From this regression analysis, it can be said that the cooling influence by green spaces of 22,500 m2 is equivalent to the heating influence by the anthropogenic heat released from 70 offices of average size in Minato-ku, having a total floor area of about 211,726 m2. Furthermore, the cooling potential of a green space of 22,500 m2 during July to September can be expected to reduce about 236 times as much carbon dioxide as the same green space absorbs for 1 year. In conclusion, green spaces in urban downtown areas have the function of air conditioning provided by nature.


  • Anthropogenic heat emission
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Cooling potential
  • Green coverage ratio
  • Green space
  • Heat island phenomena
  • Minimum air temperature
  • Tokyo
  • Woodland

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-4-431-54819-5_2
  • Chapter length: 20 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
USD   149.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-4-431-54819-5
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   199.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   279.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 2.1
Fig. 2.2
Fig. 2.3
Fig. 2.4
Fig. 2.5
Fig. 2.6
Fig. 2.7
Fig. 2.8


  • Akibari H (2002) Shade trees reduce building energy use and CO2 emissions from power plants. Environ Pollut 116:S119–S126

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Ando K et al. (2008) Observations on the heat island mitigation effects of large green space (Parts 1–3), Summaries of technical papers of Annual Meeting Architectural Institute of Japan, pp 983–987 (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  • Bureau of the Environment, Tokyo Metropolitan Government (2005) Guidelines for heat island control measures [summary edition], pp 1–7. Accessed 21 Apr 2013

  • California Air Resources Board (2007) California 1990 greenhouse gas emissions level and 2020 emissions limit. California Air Resources Board, Sacramento, p 29

    Google Scholar 

  • Climate Action Reserve (2010) Urban forest project protocol. Accessed 21 Apr 2013

  • Energy Conservation Center JAPAN (ECCJ) (2006) Energy conservation performance of air conditioners for offices and stores, spring (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  • Energy Information Administration (EIA) (2002) Updated state-level greenhouse gas emission coefficients for electricity generation 1998–2000. Energy Information Administration, Washington, DC, p 9

    Google Scholar 

  • Irie T (2003) Study on effect of open space in reducing heat island by presuming the temperature. J Jpn Inst Landsc Architect 66(5):889–892 (in Japanese)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • McHale MR, McPherson EG, Burke IC (2007) The potential of urban tree plantings to be cost effective in carbon credit markets. Urban For Urban Green 6:49–60

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • McPherson EG, Simpson JR (2003) Potential energy savings in buildings by an urban tree planting programme in California. Urban For Urban Green 2:73–86

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Minato-ku (2006a) FY 2007 Heat island effect analysis report (in Japanese). Accessed 21 Apr 2013

  • Minato-ku (2006b) The 7th Minato-ku green space survey (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  • Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and Ministry of the Environment (2004) FY 2003 investigative report on urban heat island mitigation by curbing anthropogenic heat emissions (in Japanese). Accessed 21 Apr 2013

  • Ministry of the Environment and Forestry Agency (2006) Sink measures by forest to prevent global warming (in Japanese). Ministry of the Environment and Forestry Agency, Accessed 21 May 2014

  • Moriyama M (2004) Heat island countermeasures and technologies. Gakugei Shuppansha, pp 1–206 (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  • Moulton RJ, Richards KR (1990) Costs of sequestering carbon through tree planting and forest management in the United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-GTR-58. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  • Nowak DJ, Crane DE (2002) Carbon storage and sequestration by urban trees in the USA. Environ Pollut 116:381–389

    CAS  PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Ojima T (2002) Heat islands. Toyo Keizai, Tokyo, pp 1–157 (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  • Owada M, Nakagawa Y, Iwata M, Sakurai M, Umeda Y (2007) Effect of green space and distribution of hot summer night in Nagoya City, Japan. Bulletin of Aichi University of Education (Natural Science), pp 19–24 (in Japanese)

    Google Scholar 

  • Sampson RN, Moll GA, Kielbaso JJ (1992) Opportunities to increase urban forests and the potential impacts on carbon storage and conservation. In: Sampson RN, Hair D (eds) Forests and global change: opportunities for increasing forest cover, vol 1. American Forests, Washington, DC, pp 51–72

    Google Scholar 

  • Tokyo Heat Island Mitigation Council (2003) The principle of heat island mitigation. Tokyo Heat Island Mitigation Council, pp 1–43 (in Japanese). Accessed 21 May 2014

  • Tokyo Metropolitan Government (2005) Manual for the Tokyo building environment planning system: description of assessment standards and methods in the green building design guidelines. Tokyo Metropolitan Government (in Japanese). Accessed 21 May 2014

  • Trexler MC (1991) Minding the carbon store: weighing U.S. strategies to slow global warming. World Resources Institute, Washington, DC, p 81

    Google Scholar 

  • Yamada Y, Maruta Y (1991) A quantitative analysis on the mitigation of city temperature by the open spaces in urban area. J Jpn Inst Landsc Architect 54(5):299–304 (in Japanese)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kochi Tonosaki .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2014 Springer Japan

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Tonosaki, K., Kawai, S., Tokoro, K. (2014). Cooling Potential of Urban Green Spaces in Summer. In: Nakagoshi, N., A. Mabuhay, J. (eds) Designing Low Carbon Societies in Landscapes. Ecological Research Monographs. Springer, Tokyo.

Download citation