Urban Growth and Its Impact on Urban Heat Sink and Island Formation in the Desert City of Dubai.

Nassar, Ahmed Khalaf (2015) Urban Growth and Its Impact on Urban Heat Sink and Island Formation in the Desert City of Dubai. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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The rapid pace of urban growth in Dubai has attracted the attention of economists, environmentalists and urban planners. This thesis quantifies the extent of urbanisation within the Emirate since the discovery of oil and investigates the impacts of such growth on urban temperatures. The study used remotely-sensed imagery in the absence of publicly available data on city growth and microclimate. The study used a hybrid classification method and landscape metrics to capture historical urban forms, rates and engines of growth in the Emirate. Stepwise multiple regression analysis techniques were subsequently used to investigate the relationship between the rate and form of urbanisation and the intensity of the urban heat sink between 1990 and 2011. Local Climate Zones were then developed to specifically investigate the impacts of urban geometry variables and proximity to water on both urban heat sinks during the day-time and urban heat islands during the night. The study revealed a significant increase in urban area over time (1972-2011) with accelerated phases of growth, linked to local and global economic conditions, occurring during specific periods. Physical urban growth has now outpaced population growth, indicating urban sprawl. This growth has occurred at the expense of sand and has included a significant increase in vegetation and water bodies unlike other desert cities in the Gulf region. The results demonstrated that urban growth has promoted a heat sink effect during daytime and that all urban land use types contributed to this effect. Urban albedo was not responsible for the daytime urban heat sink; other factors including the specific heat capacity of urban materials, urban geometry and proximity to the Gulf were mainly responsible. Furthermore, increases in vegetation cover and impervious surface cover over time have contributed to the daytime (morning) urban heat sink. At night-time, urban geometry and proximity to the Gulf were the major influences upon the formation of urban heat islands. This research contributes to better understanding of urbanisation in desert cities as demonstrated through Dubai, revealing previously unknown spatiotemporal variations in urban areas across the city through the use of a time-series of satellite images. The findings provide new insights into the impacts of land cover, land use, proximity to water and urban geometry on the formation of urban heat sinks and urban heat islands in the desert environment.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Lancaster University (United Kingdom), 2015.
?? miaapqarea planning & development.environmental management.civil engineering. ??
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Deposited On:
02 May 2019 16:30
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 05:46