Urban Heat Implications from Parking, Roads, and Cars: a Case Study of Metro Phoenix

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11 Scopus citations


To understand the transportation sector’s role on influencing and mitigating heat in cities, this research quantifies added heat from pavement infrastructure and vehicle travel in the hot and automobile dependent metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona. Construction of a one-dimensional heat transfer model for local weather conditions and pavement design is combined with vehicle travel densities to simulate spatiotemporal sensible heat flux magnitudes. In metro Phoenix, sensible heat from pavements and vehicles is comprised of 67% from roadways, 29% from parking, and 3.9% vehicles. Concrete and asphalt pavement emit 15% and 37% more sensible heat compared to the bare ground, respectively. Added sensible heat from pavement peaks during summer afternoons when heat emissions relative to the ground are 26% and 46% greater for concrete and asphalt. Results indicate pavement infrastructure contributes significantly to Phoenix’s urban heat balance, and areas surrounding busy vehicle corridors may be undesirable for outdoor activities during summer rush hours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalSustainable and Resilient Infrastructure
StatePublished - 2020


  • Heat
  • Phoenix
  • parking
  • pavement
  • transportation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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