LCA Research Brief: Urban Physics: City Texture Matters

Urban physics
October 21, 2014

Cities contribute over 70% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. They also intensify air and surface temperatures when compared to their rural surroundings. This effect, known as urban heat island (UHI), amplifies air pollution and increases cooling energy usage while imperiling human health and comfort, and therefore poses one of the major societal climate challenges. We apply tools from statistical physics to quantify city complexity. Our multi-disciplinary approach will allow urban planners to simplify city complexity to reliable measures—crucial for prioritizing cities or their neighborhoods for mitigating UHI—without the need of detailed temperature data. MORE