Date of Completion
Honors College Thesis
Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors, Environmental Studies Electronic Thesis
Dr. Elizabeth Doran
Dr. Gregory Rowangould
Local microenvironment, urban heat, pavement
Urban Heat Islands (UHI), the phenomenon of cities being hotter than their rural surroundings, are a matter of growing concern as they affect public health, air and water quality, and energy consumption. With predictions by climate scientists for heat waves of increasing intensity and duration, addressing the problem of UHIs has become increasingly urgent. Urban areas experience increased temperatures because of the thermodynamic properties of the materials that make up the built environment, the geometric configuration of buildings and infrastructure, and the relative lack of vegetation. Research in the field has predominantly focused on large cities, neglecting small to midsize cities such as Burlington, Vermont where the UHI effect is also known to exist although population vulnerabilities and infrastructure characteristics may differ from large urban centers. CAPA Strategies has high resolution UHI mapping Burlington, Vermont to map ambient air temperature at a granularity of 10m resolution using mobile sensors. To further address this area of research, a high-resolution heat intensity sample of the city of Burlington, Vermont, USA was created using novel sampling data collected during the summer of 2021 and analysis to find the correlation between impervious surface and urban heat. These sample points were then compared against the CAPA Strategies maps. It was found that the percentage of roads within a buffer are the highest drivers of observed temperature and urban heat in Burlington, Vermont. These findings have implications on mitigation strategies, as well as highlighting the urban heat that exists within mid-size cities such as Burlington, Vermont. The comparison between the high resolution map created using our sampling method and the CAPA map can indicate if this method can be transferred to areas outside of Burlington, Vermont.
Through this research I am attempting to address the following questions: What is the correlation between land use, specifically impervious surfaces, and heat intensity in Burlington, Vermont? Do the results across multiple days conform?Looking at places were CAPA data was collected, does the sampling approach mean that our results are substantially different?
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Greer, Alexandra E., "Understanding the Drivers of Urban Heat; Case Study in Burlington, Vermont" (2023). UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 549.