Sustainable strategies for smart cities: Analysis of the town development effect on surface urban heat island through remote sensing methodologies
Abstract In recent years the use of satellite remote sensing techniques has proven to be a useful tool for monitoring urban surface parameters: data provided on the reflective and thermal state of the urban texture, both at local and global scale, give fundamental information on the surface urban heat island (SUHI) control of the urban planning. In this work, the retrieval of the urban albedo and land surface temperature (LST) from Landsat 7 satellite data is performed over a selected area of a town in Central Italy (Terni), exhibiting a significant urban change during the last 10 years. Comparing two satellite images on 2005 and on 2015, the spatial pattern of albedo and LST shows an average albedo decrease of 0.03 during this period and a daytime SUHI increase of 2.3°C. As highlighted by a focused local scale analysis, built-up area modifications moved towards both a reduction and an increase of the surface albedo, comparing the previous situation of the area and the reflective properties of materials chosen for the new settlements or refurbishments. The proposed analysis with remote sensing data may be considered an effective indicator able to point out if urban changes like interventions and new constructions move towards an urban sustainable development in terms of SUHI mitigation. Highlights Unaware urban development may bring to a surface urban heat island increase. Satellite observations allow monitoring the temporal evolution of surface albedo and land surface temperature. Ground measurements validate the satellite albedo analysis. Suitable construction of impervious surfaces and roofs may reduce the surface heating. Building integrated photovoltaic panels show positive impact on the greenhouse effect, despite their low albedo.
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