The Urban Heat Islands (UHI) effect is a microclimatic phenomenon that especially affects urban areas. It is associated with significant temperature increases in the local microclimate, and may amplify heat waves. Due to their intensity, UHI causes not only thermal discomfort, but also reductions in the levels of life quality. This paper reviews the important role of green infrastructure as a means through which the intensity of UHI may be reduced, along with their negative impact on human comfort and wellbeing. Apart from a comprehensive review of the available literature, the paper reports on an analysis of case studies in a set of 14 cities in 13 countries representing various geographical regions and climate zones. The results obtained suggest that whereas UHI is a common phenomenon, green infrastructure in urban areas may under some conditions ameliorate their impacts. In addition, the study revealed that the scope and impacts of UHI are not uniform: depending on peculiarities of urban morphologies, they pose different challenges linked to the microclimate peculiar to each city. The implications of this paper are threefold. Firstly, it reiterates the complex interrelations of UHIs, heat waves and climate change. Secondly, it outlines the fact that keeping and increasing urban green resources leads to additional various benefits that may directly or indirectly reduce the impacts of UHI. Finally, the paper reiterates the need for city planners to pay more attention to possible UHI effects when initiating new building projects or when adjusting current ones.
ComplejidadSistemas socioterritoriales Causalidad Ciencias sociales y humanas
RESUMENEste artículo presenta una reflexión profunda sobre los aportes y debate actual de la complejidad en la actuación investigativa de las ciencias sociales y humanas. Se centra especialmente en el análisis de sistemas complejos y su proceso de abstracción, construcción y estudio en el campo espacial y socioterritorial. El texto se plantea en dos partes principales contextualizando el pensamiento complejo como base fundamental para el análisis de sistemas y luego se diserta sobre aspectos como la causalidad, estructura, evolución y dimensión. Finalmente se constituye en un diálogo práctico para su ejecución en el abordaje del territorio.
ABSTRACTThis article includes a deep reflection about the contributions and current debate on the complexity in the research action of the social sciences and humanities. It is specially focused in the analysis of complex social systems and the process of abstraction, construction and understanding of the social-territorial and spatial field of study. The text is oriented in two main parts by contextualizing the complex thinking as fundamental base for analyzing the systems and then, it discourses on features like causality, structure, evolution and dimension. Finally, it configures a practical dialogue for its application in the understanding of the territory.
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