Design for climate resilience: influence of environmental conditions on thermal sensation in subtropical high-density cities

Zheng Tan, Sum Ching Chung, Adam Charles Roberts, Kevin Ka Lun Lau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Although outdoor thermal comfort has gained increasing research attention, meteorological conditions and thermal sensation in different urban settings in high-density cities have not been systematically studied from the perspective of urban planning and design. Considering the potential relationship between environmental quality and thermal sensation in outdoor spaces— an emerging topic in perceived comfort, this study offers a new approach for planning and design for climate resilience in cities. This paper presents the results of an outdoor thermal comfort survey conducted on hot summer days in Hong Kong. Diverse patterns of PET-comfort ratings relationships were found in different urban settings. The study revealed that air temperature, subjective assessments of solar radiation and wind environment were strong determinants of thermal sensation and evaluation. In our analysis, wind condition showed a significant indirect effect on comfort through subjective perception. Statistical modelling showed that subjective perceptions on microclimate condition and comfort are moderated by various aspects of environmental quality. The findings of this study help inform future design for climate resilience in outdoor urban spaces in hot-humid subtropical cities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalArchitectural Science Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019


  • environmental quality
  • high-density
  • Outdoor thermal comfort
  • thermal sensation
  • urban microclimate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture

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