Microclimate in Hot Dry Damascus: The Influence of the Urban Environment on Human Perception

Moohammed Wasim Yahia, Erik Johansson

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publication or newspaperSpecialist publication articlePopular science


    There is a broad recognition that microclimatic conditions contribute to the quality of life in cities. A favorable
    microclimate has a positive influence on both commercial and social activities. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship
    between the human being and the surrounding thermal environment in terms of thermal acceptability, physical quality of the place,
    emotional state and the usage of the urban space in hot dry Damascus, Syria. The study is based on questionnaire surveys during the
    summer and winter in six locations with different microclimates. It is shown that the urban design plays a significant role in
    improving the microclimate, especially during the summer. The study also illustrates that when people’s thermal perception is within
    the thermally acceptable range (i.e., slightly cool, comfortable and slightly warm) they experience the urban design as significantly
    more beautiful and more pleasant than during thermally unacceptable conditions. The results indicate that there is an interactive
    relationship between the urban design and humans’ emotional state. Our findings suggest that a new perspective is needed for
    determining urban microclimate requirements and incorporating them into the urban design process to enhance the thermal
    environment in outdoor urban spaces in Damascus.
    Original languageEnglish
    Specialist publicationJournal of Earth Science and Engineering
    PublisherDavid Publishing Company
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Subject classification (UKÄ)

    • Architecture


    • urban design
    • thermal perception
    • outdoor urban spaces
    • Damascus
    • hot dry climate


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