Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Mitigating urban heat island through integration of agriculture in the built environment in arid regions
by Gaxiola Camacho, Ivan Eladio, M.S., The University of Arizona, 2016, 158; 10118305
Abstract (Summary)

Consequences of human activity in natural environments can be observed in urban phenomena. Urban Heat Island is one of those consequences, it is characterized by higher temperature levels in surface-cover and air in urban centers compared with its surrounding rural areas. UHIs are present in cities of arid ecosystems such as Phoenix and Tucson.

Existing urban development trends contribute to UHI episodes. Urban Agriculture (UA) is an emerging environmental strategy and, contrary to traditional and industrial agricultural methods, UA systems provide the option of not using soil, its geometrical arrangement lets grow crops disregarding of extensive surface of land to be consumed. UA systems can be implemented as building fabric components.

Urban Agriculture provides access to healthier and economic food, it is more energy efficient and promotes a more vegetarian diet which can eventually contribute diminishing health problems such as obesity and toxicity.

A response for achieving a decrease in temperature levels in an urban arid region scenario can be established by demonstrating the following premise: “Urban Heat Island effect in arid regions can be mitigated if vegetated surface in the form of agriculture is properly integrated in the built environment”.

Research procedures were applied at building scale. Results involved physical objective data acquisition. Research methods required the use of software and thermodynamic tools to measure thermal behavior of samples.

The impact of vegetated cover in temperature levels and thermal comfort in an outdoor scenario was digitally simulated. The selected research case contributed as a source of data for comparison and baseline benchmarking of thermodynamic circumstances.

Employment of green infrastructure in cities can contribute to the improvement of energy efficiency in buildings and developing self-sufficient communities.

Urban agriculture comprises implications and side beneficial environmental consequences in arid habitats beyond decreasing temperature levels in cities, such effects are energy conservation, reducing air pollution, diminishing food security concerns, improving soil quality and runoff wastewater as well as cutting down fossil fuel use in transportation of food.

In that sense, future research fields include water quality and availability, innovative emerging materials, climate analysis, societal and cultural value, Net zero development and energy efficiency as well as solid waste management.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Chalfoun, Nader Victor
Commitee: Moeller, Colby, Smith, Shane
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Architecture
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Architecture
Keywords: Hemispherical photography analysis, Human view factor, Mean radiant temperature, Thermal comfort, Urban agriculture, Urban heat island
Publication Number: 10118305
ISBN: 978-1-339-79654-3
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