Qualitative methods to explore thermo-spatial perception in outdoor urban spaces

S. Lenzholzer*, W. Klemm, Carolina Vasilikou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


To be able to design thermally comfortable urban spaces, designers require design guidelines that respond to people's thermal and spatial perception. This thermo-spatial perception is influenced by a range of dimensions: the nature and scale of spatial contexts, the kinetic state of the people and the time scale of their perception ('now' or 'the past'). Recently, novel qualitative methods have been developed to link thermal and spatial information of people's perception. To attain an overview of these methods we conducted an extensive literature review. The results show that these qualitative methods respond to the different dimensions by combinations of momentary and long-term thermal perception research in stationary mode and in motion in varying spatial environments. These qualitative methods deliver explicit combination of thermal and spatial information. Based on that evidence, new knowledge relevant to urban design of thermally comfortable urban spaces can be generated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-249
JournalUrban Climate
Early online date22 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Thermal comfort;
  • Urban design
  • spatial perception
  • cognitive map
  • thermal walk
  • Review


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