Urban legislation and thermal comfort in urban street canyons: a case study in Campinas

Abstract The constructive parameters of the legislation on land use and occupancy regulate the occupancy of urban land. Different specifications for these parameters affect the climate of cities. In order to analyse how the legislation on land use and occupancy affects the microclimate and the thermal comfort of pedestrians, this study focused on an urban canyon in the city of Campinas through the use of computer simulations made in the ENVI-met 4.0 preview program. Forty-eight scenarios based on the occupancy rate variations, the floor area rate and canyon orientation were compared regarding thermal comfort by using the PET (Physiological Equivalent Temperature) index. The results showed that scenarios with a higher correlation between canyon height and width (H/W greater than 1.0) had a maximum air temperature up to 1.0 ºC lower than more open scenarios (H/W equal to 0.4). An increase in the H/W ratio increased the shading of the canyon, reducing the variation of the daily comfort sensation and the peak values of the PET. Regarding the orientation of the canyon, it was verified that those oriented parallel to the predominant direction of the winds have the potential for cooling surfaces intensified by increasing their speed. The results emphasize the importance of relating urban parameters with the climate and thermal comfort of pedestrians.