Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Improvement of Thermal Comfort Conditions in an Urban Space (Case Study: The Square of Independence, Sétif, Algeria)

Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Improvement of Thermal Comfort Conditions in an Urban Space (Case Study: The Square of Independence, Sétif, Algeria)

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

The treatment of outdoor spaces in urban areas helps mitigate the roughness of climatic stresses around buildings and in public spaces to make these spaces more comfortable to live and the longest time possible (Robitu, 2005).

To reach this comfort, the use of certain urban planning is essential. Among the most effective and most widely used improvements, we can mention the use of vegetation and water bodies, especially when they are associated with one another.

Water and vegetation play a major role in creating a more comfortable microclimate in outdoor spaces and around buildings and, and they come alone to solve many problems in urban areas (Nikolopoulou, 2004).

The vegetation has an effect on the overall urban climate and microclimate in public areas and around buildings. In addition to its aesthetic appearance, urban vegetation promotes social activity, reduces the impact of noise pollution, offers seasonal shade, acts as a screen against wind, cools the air through evapotranspiration, filter suspended dust and regenerate air by producing oxygen (Liébard & De Herde, 2006).

The purpose of the construction of a fountain, a water jet or a pond is not only beautify the environment but also to cool it by evaporation, to mask the traffic noise, helps people in relaxing and provide solutions to thermal control of space, in hot climatic situation (Leguay, 2002).

Ponds and fountains can be efficient air-conditioning in open spaces because of their ability to maintain water temperatures below the temperature of the air, and their low reflectivity. As the water evaporates, its temperature decreases and this evaporation is proportional to the surface of air / water contact (Santamouris & Adnot , 2004).

After having discussed the role of vegetation and water in the city, it is interesting to note that the combination of water and vegetation seems inseparable or at least represents the best complementarily in urban environment.

In order to demonstrate the important role of the presence of water and vegetation in creating a favorable microclimate a case study will be taken as an example and which is: the Independence Square (Square of Ain-El-Fouara), urban area located in the town of Setif(Algeria), characterized by the presence of a water fountain, and surrounded by a large plant mass.

2. Objectives

In this work, we are looking to achieve the following objective:

* -Evaluate and quantify the impact of the vegetation and the fountain on thermal comfort in our case study.

* -Proceed to a calibration of results obtained through the simulation by comparing them with the results of the investigation.

* -In order to further improve the comfort in the square and upgrade the urban space, thanks to a kind of projection into the future and that thanks to the simulation.

* -Demonstrate that thermal regulation of urban microclimate in areas with hot dry climate is possible by a judicious choice of size, disposition and amount of vegetation and water bodies.

3. Methodology

Two methods were used to reach the objectives of this paper; the first concerns the application of a field investigation with a series of measurements on the factors affecting thermal comfort in Independence square. The investigation provides operational and practical tool that allow acquiring observable, quantifiable and close to reality.

The second is a simulation, based on computer software, allowing accurate quantification of micro-climatic impacts related to the parameters of the vegetation and water on the outdoor thermal comfort, but also to simulate several scenarios with different feature of the place.

A comparison of the measurements with the result of the simulation performed by the Envi-Met software will be made considering the square with the current state. This comparative study appears to be useful to the extent that it allows us to determine whether a relationship exists between the two types of data, but also to check the existence of anomalies in the model simulated. …

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