Characterization of urban heat islands based on the treatment of the urban planning regulations of the French local urban plan

Magalie Técher, Hassan Ait Haddou, Rahim Aguejdad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

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For over 30 years, Urban Heat Island (UHI) have been increasing in intensity, exacerbated by increasing population, urban density and by global warming. These phenomena lead to the emergence of challenges for the life of urban environments: excess mortality and deterioration of comfort conditions, vulnerability of urban networks and infrastructures. French planning policies are institutional tools intended for the governance of urban territories development. With more and more frequent heat episodes, these tools make it possible to manage the evolution of urban morphology and thus anticipate the development of Urban Heat Islands. The impact of urban form on UHI having been attested for many years. As part of a thesis PhD, a methodology is developed to map the sensitivity of urban planning regulations to UHI. This method is being tested in municipalities in the Montpellier Méditerranée metropolitan area. This method is aimed at local authorities and actors of the French territory. It aims to provide a tool and indicators to characterize and anticipate the UHI during the elaboration of French urban planning documents, define issues and guide urban planning policies. The methodology is based on the classification of the urban planning regulations of the French Local Urban Plan (PLU). This urban planning regulation is characterized by a set of articles, which determine urban morphology: land use, architectural characteristics, volume, unbuilt area, etc. Based on this classification, Landsat-8 images are used to determine the Land Surface Temperature (LST) to enrich the classification of the urban planning regulations. By associating the classification of urban planning regulations with temperature treatments, this work allows numerous territorial diagnostic supports: The expected results are relevant for French local authorities. The maps produced will support urban planning documents by making it possible to visualize the vulnerability and behavior of urban morphology and anticipate urban heat islands.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnnual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form
Subtitle of host publication"Urban Form and the Sustainable and Prosperous City"
Place of PublicationGlasgow
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2022


  • land surface temperatures
  • urban heat island
  • urban planning


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