Volume 20, Issue 1-3, March 2016
POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF URBANIZATION ON URBAN THERMAL COMFORT, A CASE STUDY OF NAIROBI CITY, KENYA: A REVIEW
Authors: Victor Ongoma, Pamela Kalondu Muange, Zablon Weku Shilenje
Abstract: This study reviews the effect of urbanization on human thermal comfort over Nairobi city in Kenya. Urbanization alters urban centre’s land use and land cover, modifying the climate of the urban setting. The modifcation in climate affects human comfort and the environment at large. This study focuses on the recent studies conducted in Nairobi city and many other cities globally to examine modifcation of wind, temperature and humidity over Nairobi. There was observed reduction in wind speed and relative humidity over the city, posing threat to human and animal comfort and the environment at large. The city of Nairobi, just like other cities globally is observed to experience urban heat island (UHI). The observed increase in minimum temperature as compared to maximum temperature signifes overall warming. A combination of all these changes reduces human comfort. Borrowing lessons from developed cities, increasing the urban forest cover is thus suggested as one of the practical and effective measures that can help prevent further modifcation of weather and urban climates. The study recommends further research involving multi-sectoral urban stake holders, on forcing driving urban thermal comfort. In the short term, design and construction of appropriate structures can help minimize energy consumption and emissions, thus enhancing comfort.
Keywords: thermal comfort, urban heat island, urbanization, Nairobi City
Article info: 19-31
Received: May 31, 2015 | Revised: December 09, 2015 | Accepted: March 13, 2016