Assessing the cooling effect of blue-green spaces: implications for Urban Heat Island mitigation

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Pritipadmaja, Garg, Rahul Dev ORCID: 0000-0003-3684-8962 and Sharma, Ashok ORCID: 0000-0002-0172-5033 (2023) Assessing the cooling effect of blue-green spaces: implications for Urban Heat Island mitigation. Water, 15 (16). ISSN 2073-4441


The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect is a significant concern in today’s rapidly urbanising cities, with exacerbating heatwaves’ impact, urban livelihood, and environmental well-being. This study aims to assess the cooling effect of blue-green spaces in Bhubaneswar, India, and explore their implications for mitigating UHI effects. Satellite images were processed with Google Earth Engine (GEE) to produce information on the blue-green spaces’ land surface temperatures (LST). The Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Modified Normalised Difference Water Index (MNDWI) were employed to quantify the presence and characteristics of these blue-green spaces. The findings revealed significant spatial variations in the LST, with higher temperatures observed in bare land and built-up areas and lower temperatures in proximity to the blue-green spaces. In addition, a correlation analysis indicated the strong influence of the built-up index (NDBI) on the LST, emphasising the impact of urbanisation on local climate dynamics. The analysis demonstrated the potential of blue-green spaces in reducing surface temperatures and mitigating UHI effects. Based on these results, strategic interventions were proposed, such as increasing the coverage of green spaces, optimising access to water bodies, and integrating water-sensitive design principles into urban planning to enhance the cooling effects and foster a more sustainable and resilient urban environment. This study highlighted the importance of leveraging remote sensing and GEE for urban UHI analyses. It provides valuable insights for policymakers and urban planners to prioritise nature-based solutions for heat mitigation in Bhubaneswar and other similar cities. Future research could delve deeper into a quantitative assessment of the cooling benefits of specific blue-green infrastructure interventions and explore their socio-economic impacts on urban communities.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.3390/w15162983
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4005 Civil engineering
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords Urban Heat Island, UHI, blue-green spaces, land surface temperatures, urban communities
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