Linear parks along urban rivers: Perceptions of thermal comfort and climate change adaptation in Cyprus

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:49am
Giannakis E., Bruggeman A., Poulou D., Zoumides C., Eliades M., Sustainability (Switzerland), 2016

The development of green space along urban rivers could mitigate urban heat island effects, enhance the physical and mental well-being of city dwellers, and improve flood resilience. A linear park has been recently created along the ephemeral Pedieos River in the urban area of Nicosia, Cyprus. Questionnaire surveys and micrometeorological measurements were conducted to explore people's perceptions and satisfaction regarding the services of the urban park. People's main reasons to visit the park were physical activity and exercise (67%), nature (13%), and cooling (4%). The micrometeorological measurements in and near the park revealed a relatively low cooling effect (0.5 �C) of the park. However, the majority of the visitors (84%) were satisfied or very satisfied with the cooling effect of the park. Logistic regression analysis indicated that the odds of individuals feeling very comfortable under a projected 3 �C future increase in temperature would be 0.34 times lower than the odds of feeling less comfortable. The discrepancies between the observed thermal comfort index and people's perceptions revealed that people in semi-arid environments are adapted to the hot climatic conditions; 63% of the park visitors did not feel uncomfortable at temperatures between 27 �C and 37 �C. Further research is needed to assess other key ecosystems services of this urban green river corridor, such as flood protection, air quality regulation, and biodiversity conservation, to contribute to integrated climate change adaptation planning. � 2016 by the authors.

Giannakis, E., Bruggeman, A., Poulou, D., Zoumides, C., Eliades, M., 2016. Linear parks along urban rivers: Perceptions of thermal comfort and climate change adaptation in Cyprus. Sustain. 8. doi:10.3390/su8101023
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