Articles | Volume 5
30 May 2024
 | 30 May 2024

A collaborative approach for the identification of thermal hot-spots: from remote sensing data to urban planning interventions

Claire Gallacher, Susanne Benz, Denise Boehnke, and Mathias Jehling

Keywords: remote sensing, geo-visualisation, sustainable decision-making, land surface temperature, physiological equivalent temperature index

Abstract. This paper presents a novel methodology for enhancing urban planning in Frankfurt, Germany, through the identification of thermal hot-spots, i.e., areas of persistent high temperatures and thermal discomfort across multiple temperature parameters. Our approach integrates remote sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) analyses to map thermal hot-spots, thereby highlighting target areas for urban planning interventions. We assess the efficacy of using remotely sensed Land Surface Temperature (LST) and the Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET) thermal index, derived from simulations using the FITNAH model, for identifying thermal hot-spots at both the regional and city scales. Our findings highlight spatial discrepancies in hot-spot locations between LST and PET data, identifying areas where both indicators converge to signify thermal hot-spots. We explore the land cover contributing to these areas, laying the groundwork for future urban planning strategies. By incorporating visualisation tools tailored to the specific communication needs of urban planners, we provide actionable insights for developing maps which inform and guide the development of effective climate-adapted urban planning solutions.