Research and Design for Thermal Comfort in Dutch Urban Squares

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Human thermal comfort in urban outdoor places was generally not an issue in Dutch urban design. This neglect shows problematic effects of discomfort, but also missed chances in urban life quality. The existing problems are alleviated due to the expected effects of climate change with even higher temperatures. This altogether requires adaptations in the setup of the urban environment. But there still is a lack of usable urban design guidelines. Therefore, a “research for design” and a “research by design” project was conducted, generating design guidelines for thermally comfortable Dutch urban squares. The “research for design” entailed a survey on people's microclimate perceptions resulting in a range of design guidelines. These guidelines and additional new design hypotheses were applied in a design process - a “research by design” and tested further through microclimate simulations. These lead to improved design guidelines in the form of spatial patterns for optimized thermal comfort conditions in Dutch urban squares. The results of this project, being a range of design recommendations, facilitate the easy implementation of measures to improve thermal comfort in Dutch public squares and make cities more climate-proof.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-48
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • climatic change
  • urban areas
  • temperature
  • perception
  • space
  • environment
  • vegetation
  • behavior

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