Mapping of Micro-Urban Heat Islands and Land Cover Changes: A Case in Chennai City, India

By Lilly Rose Amirtham, Monsingh David Devadas and Mohana Perumal.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Urban Planning processes are strongly influenced by the environmental issues arising due to land use transformations. These land use changes often includes replacements of natural surfaces with highly reflective parking lots, concrete masses, asphalt roads etc affecting the thermal environment in cities. Researches show that urban places are warmer than surrounding rural environments and are generally termed as “urban heat island”. The aim of this paper is to analyze the variations in the thermal environment that exists throughout the city due to different land cover conditions. This study analyses the temperature differences in the city of Chennai and compares the relationship between the surface temperature and land cover types using TM and ETM+ data of 1991 and 2000. The ETM+ data shows the increase in urban built up areas and the reduction of vegetated areas. The thermal bands of Landsat TM and ETM+ are used in identifying the specific locations of micro urban heat islands within the city. The various land cover types such as dense vegetated areas, barren land and industrial areas, dense built up spaces, water bodies etc contributes to the variation in temperatures leading to the formation of urban micro heat islands. With the increasing energy demand it is possible to reduce the energy needs by mitigating the effects of these micro urban heat islands. This study can be a source data for the urban planners and designers in improving the environmental quality by planning green lands, altering the surface cover and formulating urban design guidelines.

Keywords: Thermal Infrared Imagery, Land Cover Changes, Urban Heat Island Effect, Surface Temperatures, Urban Planning

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.71-84. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.601MB).

Lilly Rose Amirtham

Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture,, Sathyabama University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

She is a Doctoral Research Scholar at The School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University, Chennai and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture, Sathyabama University, Chennai. Her field of research is “Analysis of Urban Heat Island and the Built Environment”. A Post-Graduate from The School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University, Chennai, her areas of interest are Urban Design, Sustainable Design, Climatology and Construction Project Management.

Dr. Monsingh David Devadas

Professor and Dean, School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University, CHENNAI, Tamil Nadu, India

He is a Professor and Dean, at the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Anna University, Chennai. His areas of interests include, Energy Efficient Architecture, Climate Responsive Architecture, Sustainable Design, Green Building Concepts and Sustainable Landscape Design.

Mohana Perumal

Scientist-C, Center for Remote Sensing and Geo-Informatics, Sathyabama University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

She is a Scientist at The Centre for Remote Sensing and Geo-Informatics, Sathyabama University, Chennai. She is involved in various DST and MoES projects. Her areas of interests are Agriculture, Remote Sensing, GIS and Digital Image Processing.

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