Original paper

The impact of human-biometeorological factors on perceived thermal comfort in urban public places

Maras, Isabell; Schmidt, Teresa; Paas, Bastian; Ziefle, Martina; Schneider, Christoph

Meteorologische Zeitschrift Vol. 25 No. 4 (2016), p. 407 - 420

60 references

published: Sep 6, 2016
published online: Jul 6, 2016
manuscript accepted: Dec 23, 2015
manuscript revision received: Oct 23, 2015
manuscript revision requested: Jun 23, 2015
manuscript received: Apr 30, 2015

DOI: 10.1127/metz/2016/0705

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Abstract

For the understanding of the impact of meteorological stressors on human perceptions of thermal comfort, it is essential to examine in detail the joint variability of atmospheric conditions and human perception. We designed an interdisciplinary experimental setup to generate data of both human-biometeorological and individual human perception at two different urban public places in the city of Aachen, Germany. Meteorological measurements at the human-biometeorological standard height of 1.1 m a.g.l. were taken during typical winter weather situations as well as extreme summer weather situations to analyze potentially seasonal effects. Pedestrians and tourists at the study site were selected as participants for face-to-face questionnaire-based interviews. We took measurements and held interviews between 10:00 h and 17:00 h (CEST/CET) to record the daytime agreement/deviations at different inner urban measurement locations. Based on an overall physical approach of thermal load, UTCI (Universal Thermal Climate Index) values are calculated. A maximum of +34.1 °C for summertime and a minimum of +2.6 °C for wintertime could be found. The meteorological parameters of air temperature (Ta), mean radiant temperature (Tmrt) and vapor pressure (VP) are compared with data perceived by the persons interviewed. In winter, Ta shows a significant relation to the overall weather perception (r = 0.28; p < 0.05) while the overall comfort of the participants is significantly related to perceived solar heat (r = 0.27; p < 0.5) as well as to perceived Ta (r = 0.4; p < 0.002). Quite different resulting patterns occurred for the summer campaign. None of the physical variables significantly affected the weather perception. Only the perceived Ta revealed a significant relation to the overall weather perception (r = 0.27; p < 0.002).

Keywords

thermal stressurban public spacesurban climatefield studypsychophysics measurementsthermal comfort