Special Issue "Thermal Comfort and Adaptation in Urban Areas"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Salman Shooshtarian
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Property, Construction and Project Management, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476, Melbourne, VIC 3001, Australia
Interests: sustainability; construction and demolition waste management; urban landscape management
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Inji Kenawy
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Science, Engineering and Environment, University of Salford, Salford M5 4WT, UK
Interests: green infrastructure, environmental design; urban ecologies; sustainability of built environment; thermal comfort studies; cross-cultural design research practice; place-making; urban design and development; climate change adaptation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the opening of a new Special Issue focusing on thermal comfort and adaption in cities. In 2018, The World's Cities (United Nation) estimated that 55.3% of the world's population lived in urban areas, a statistic that will reach 60% by 2030 meaning that one in every three people will live in cities. Hence, urban outdoor areas are increasingly essential for catering to their residents' needs. However, dense and unplanned urbanisation and recent changes in climate, have adversely affected the livability of urban areas. Urbanisation has replaced vegetation and natural spaces with hard and impervious surfaces; this transition in cities has led to a sequence of adverse events in urban ecosystems and human health and well-being such as urban heat island.

Thermal discomfort is an immediate impact of these changes on urban residents' health and well-being. The usage of outdoor spaces is highly dependent on desireable bio-meteorological conditions, and thermal discomfort can discourage outdoor activities and increase indoor energy consumption. Therefore, it is necessary to determine human thermal comfort requirements; and devise adaptive strategies contributing to acceptable/preferable thermal perceptions among urban residents.

This Special Issue invites outstanding research outputs, including case studies, original and review papers in one of the three following categories:

A. Thermal comfort theory and practice:

  • Outdoor thermal comfort assessment;
  • Outdoor thermal comfort standards and guidelines;
  • Outdoor thermal comfort and application of theories;
  • Outdoor thermal comfort and the role of non-thermal factors in human’s thermal perception;
  • Urban heat island and outdoor thermal comfort.

B. Thermal comfort and adaptation

  • Thermal adaptive strategies in urban areas;
  • Thermal comfort and usage pattern of outdoor spaces;
  • Behavioural perspectives of outdoor thermal comfort;
  • Psychological thermal adaptation to outdoor meteorological conditions;
  • Application of technologies to provide outdoor thermal comfort;
  • Role of key stakeholders (including the public sector) in creating outdoor thermal comfort.

C. Thermal comfort and urban design and configuration

  • Thermal comfort and shaded outdoor spaces;
  • Thermal comfort and urban street canyons;
  • Outdoor thermal comfort and urban climate-sensitive design;
  • Effects of urban geometry on outdoor thermal comfort;
  • Impact of urban greening on outdoor thermal comfort;
  • Nature-based solutions and outdoor thermal comfort;
  • Outdoor thermal comfort and urban pavement surfaces.

Dr. Salman Shooshtarian
Dr. Inji Kenawy
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • thermal perception
  • thermal adaptive strategies
  • thermal comfort
  • sustainable outdoor spaces
  • human–place relationship
  • urban greenery
  • urban livability
  • dense urbanization
  • urban heat island

Published Papers (1 paper)

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A Review of Cultural Background and Thermal Perceptions in Urban Environments
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9080; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169080 - 13 Aug 2021
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Thermal comfort is among the chief indicators of the sustainability of outdoor spaces. However, the complex nature of comfort represents the interaction of several determinants that leads to a perception of the thermal environment. Recently, researchers have paid particular attention to non-physical factors [...] Read more.
Thermal comfort is among the chief indicators of the sustainability of outdoor spaces. However, the complex nature of comfort represents the interaction of several determinants that leads to a perception of the thermal environment. Recently, researchers have paid particular attention to non-physical factors to understand the mechanisms involved in thermal perceptions in urban environments. The extant literature has contended that culture and cultural background are determinants to individuals’ thermal perceptions. Therefore, this study aimed to review how the link between outdoor thermal comfort (OTC) and cultural background is investigated. This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first review study on the subject. The study used a systematic literature review approach based on secondary data available in relevant and contemporary literature. The findings first showed the scarcity of research on cultural background and OTC; however, all studies identified corroborated the significant impact of cultural background on thermal perceptions. Notably, the cultural background was found to be the source of variation in thermal perceptions, tolerance to, and preference for certain thermal conditions, thermal comfort requirements and expectations, choice of clothing, and environmental attitudes. The findings provide a sound basis for future researchers to address the research gaps identified. The study also raises policy makers’ and designers’ awareness of urban environment users’ genuine needs and requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Comfort and Adaptation in Urban Areas)
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