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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2013, Article ID 549096, 12 pages
Research Article

Effects of Urban Configuration on Human Thermal Conditions in a Typical Tropical African Coastal City

1Chair of Meteorology and Climatology, Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg, Werthmannstrasse 10, 79085 Freiburg, Germany
2Department of Physical Sciences, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3038, Morogoro, Tanzania

Received 14 May 2013; Revised 12 August 2013; Accepted 22 August 2013

Academic Editor: Panagiotis Nastos

Copyright © 2013 Emmanuel Lubango Ndetto and Andreas Matzarakis. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A long-term simulation of urban climate was done using the easily available long-term meteorological data from a nearby synoptic station in a tropical coastal city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The study aimed at determining the effects of buildings’ height and street orientations on human thermal conditions at pedestrian level. The urban configuration was represented by a typical urban street and a small urban park near the seaside. The simulations were conducted in the microscale applied climate model of RayMan, and results were interpreted in terms of the thermal comfort parameters of mean radiant ( ) and physiologically equivalent (PET) temperatures. PET values, high as 34°C, are observed to prevail during the afternoons especially in the east-west oriented streets, and buildings’ height of 5 m has less effect on the thermal comfort. The optimal reduction of and PET values for pedestrians was observed on the nearly north-south reoriented streets and with increased buildings’ height especially close to 100 m. Likewise, buildings close to the park enhance comfort conditions in the park through additional shadow. The study provides design implications and management of open spaces like urban parks in cities for the sake of improving thermal comfort conditions for pedestrians.