Urban physics takes inspiration from the molecular structures of complex materials. Researchers use map data to capture the internal structure of city environments, then simplify complicated city conditions to identify patterns: some cities are laid out on a precise grid where the arrangement of buildings resembles the ordering of atoms in a crystal, while others are arranged more chaotically like the disordered atoms in a liquid or glass. City texture reveals a lot about how the area will respond to high winds in a storm, or to a major environmental event like a hurricane or earthquake. Texture has also been shown to be the most important determinant of an area’s urban heat island effect.
Community-Informed Building-Scale Resilience Assessment (February 2020)
Prioritizing Resilient Retrofits (February 2018)
- Planning More Resilient Cities (March 2017)
- Geospatial data enables the accurate prediction of radiative heat transfer (Nov 2017)
- Quantifying the Impact of Pavement Reflectivity on Radiative Forcing and Building Energy Demand in Neighborhoods (March 2017)
- City Geometry and Urban Heat Island (November 2015)
- Urban Physics: City Texture Matters (October 2014)
- Streamlined Energy Modeling of Residential Buildings (June 2014)
- Urban heat island effects depend on a city's layout (MIT News, Feb 21, 2018)
- The shape of your city could determine how hot it gets at night (Popular Science, March 2018)
- Hot Nights In The City? Blame Urban Planning (Forbes.com, March 2018)
- Urban Physics (MIT News, April 2014)
- What ‘urban physics’ could tell us about how cities work (Boston Globe, July 2014)
- Roxon, J., Ulm, F.-J., Pellenq, R.J.-M. "Urban heat island impact on state residential energy cost and CO2 emissions in the United States," Urban Climate,
Volume 31, March 2020.
- Keremides, Konstantinos; Qomi, Mohammad Javad Abdolhosseini; Pellenq, Roland J. M.; and Ulm, Franz-Josef. “Potential-of-Mean-Force Approach for Molecular Dynamics–Based Resilience Assessment of Structures,” Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Volume 144, Issue 8 (2018)
- Sobstyl, J.M., Emig, T., Abdolhosseini Qomi, M.J., Ulm, F.-J., and Pellenq R. J.-M., "Role of City Texture in Urban Heat Islands at Night Time," Physical Review Letters, February 2018
- Qomi, Mohammad Javad Abdolhosseini; Noshadravan, A.; Sobstyl, J.; Toole, J.; Ferreira, J.; Pellenq, RJM, Ulm, Franz-Josef; Gonzalez, M. “Data analytics for simplifying thermal efficiency planning in cities,” Journal of the Royal Society Interface, April 2016
This webinar was presented on May 3, 2018. Click here for a list of upcoming webinars and additional webinar videos.
See also: Building and City Energy Consumption