UAE: Construction boom and dense population in Dubai has escalated its temperature levels, turning the city into a pronounced Urban Heat Island (UHI), warned an environmental expert during EnviroCities 2010 international conference in Dubai.
Narciso Zacarias, environmental engineer at Dubai Municipality (DM) shared some points from the aerial collection of thermal data which was collected in the first week of December 2009 over the 600 square kilometre area of urban environment. Zacarias explained, “The surface heat island has been measured, as part of the aerial thermal mapping survey, by remote thermal sensors mounted to an aircraft with over 31,000 thermographs being captured during the flyover.”
“The report, based on the thermal mapping data, provided an overview of the UHI phenomenon in Dubai. Socio-economic and demographic data at the next stages of planning level will be used to quantify exposure to urban heat island magnitude among residents,” he added.
“To curb greenhouse gases emissions and reduce its impact on climate change, it is vital to efficiently plan our cities to be sustainable,” said Professor Mohsen Aboulnaga, Government Strategy and Policy Advisor and main founder of Emirates Green Building Council.
“Strategies and policies should be implemented diligently to promote sustainability to the extent that these cities are eco-friendly and maintained,” he opined.
“The impact of climate change on the cities has been recently severely manifested in the floods in Pakistan, Philippines and Italy,” indicated Aboulnaga.
According to him, these natural disasters have triggered the alarm to think about sustainability and the need to build eco-friendly cities.
According to Nabyl Chenaf, associate professor at the American University of Dubai, green design is not a choice anymore as more people are aware of the danger of pollution and the waste of resources.
During the EnvironCities 2010 conference, experts also recommended formulation of new green building laws in line with the continuing evolution of technology towards developing zero carbon cities.