Eliasson, I., Knezb, I., Westerberg, U., Thorsson, S., & Lindberg, F.
Eliasson, I., Knez, I., Westerberg, U., Thorsson, S., & Lindberg, F. (2007). Climate and behaviour in a Nordic city. Landscape and Urban Planning, 82(1), 72-84.
Four urban public spaces, representing various designs and microclimates, were investigated in Gothenburg, Sweden, in order to estimate how weather and microclimate affect people in urban outdoor environments. The research strategy was both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary and included scientists from three disciplines: architecture, climatology and psychology. The project is based on common case studies carried out during four seasons, including measurements of meteorological variables, interviews and observations of human activity at each place. Multiple regression analysis of meteorological and behavioural data showed that air temperature, wind speed and clearness index (cloud cover) have a significant influence on people’s assessments of the weather, place perceptions and place-related attendance. The results support the arguments in favour of employing climate sensitive planning in future urban design and planning projects, as the physical component of a place can be designed to influence the site-specific microclimate and consequently people’s place-related attendance, perceptions and emotions.
Weather conditions play a significant role in people's perception, emotions and attendance of public space. Specifically, solar radiation, air temperature and wind affect the functional and psychological. This calls for climate sensitive planning in future urban design and planning. Offers some useful ideas for climate sensitive planning, showing how the physical component of a place can be designed to influence the site-specific microclimate and consequently people’s place-related attendance, perceptions and emotions. Argues that with these approaches, urban spaces can be climatically attractive all year round.
Description of method used in the article
Four types of public space (square, courtyard, park and waterfront) with varying design and microclimates were studied during four seasons to assess people's perception of the weather. The interdisciplinary study combining architecture, climatology and psychology included three parts: micrometeorological measurements, observations of human activity and behavior, and structured interviews. All parts were conducted during five days in each season. The data was analyzed with help of multiple regression analyses.
Of practical use