Book chapter

Microclimates and the city : towards an architectural theory of thermal diversity

  • Roesler, Sascha Accademia di architettura, Università della Svizzera italiana, Svizzera
  • Kobi, Madlen Accademia di architettura, Università della Svizzera italiana, Svizzera
    2018
Published in:
  • The urban microclimate as artifact : towards an architectural theory of thermal diversity / Roesler, Sascha ; Kobi, Madlen. - Basel : Birkhäuser. - 2018, p. 12-24
English The term “microclimate” was coined by German and British meteorologists and geographers in the first half of the 20th century. Rudolf Geiger and Albert Kratzer realized that the climate in the air layer “two meters above the ground” differs considerably between rural and urban sites. W.G.V. Balchin and Norman Pye proved that the urban climate within one city, Bath, was not homogenous, but rather, comprised a variety of microclimates. Gordon Manley distinguished three fundamental subjects of an urban microclimatology with comprehensive implications for architecture and landscape architecture: the microclimate of the plant cover, the microclimate of the topography and the microclimate of buildings. As interacting parameters, plant cover, topography and buildings shape the microclimates of cities, both in- and outside their buildings. Scientific research in the 20th century has thoroughly engaged with microclimates in their thermo dynamic profiles; among other parameters, temperature and humidity became central to how microclimates are measured and defined. By setting up a reciprocal relationship between climate and architecture, between weather and human activities, city climate research both undermined and transformed the mono-causal approach of bio- climatic architecture. Urban climate phenomena such as heat islands or air pollution are strongly related to, and sometimes even intensified by, the built environment and its technologies.
Language
  • English
Classification
Urbanism
License
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Persistent URL
https://susi.usi.ch/usi/documents/319104
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