At the end of July and the beginning of August, measurements were carried out in Middelburg (NL) with three Kestrel meters and an infrared camera. These measurements took place within the framework of the European research project Cool Towns. With these measurements, the project tries to find an answer to the prevention or limitation of heat stress in the city center.

The measurements were carried out at two pilot locations. In addition, measurements were carried out at three other locations to investigate the effect of roof plane trees, a pergola and different types of (colored) paving.

The measurements must be taken between 12:00 and 16:00 hrs. at a minimum temperature of 25 degrees Celsius, clear weather and in the sun. In other words, circumstances where you better sit somewhere nice and cool indoors or in the shade. That makes measuring quite difficult. In addition, there are only a few days that qualify for taking these measurements, because a little cloudiness quickly means that measurement is not possible. And as soon as the ideal day comes into view via the weather forecast, it appears that it will be over 30 degrees Celsius or much more.

That’s not only too hot for the measurements. But also for the people on the street. The behavior of people on the street cannot actually be captured in the survey. Such as wanting to park as close as possible to one’s house of shops. And of course preferably exactly where the Kestrel meter is measuring for 15 minutes.

 

Those who still walk on the street cannot resist taking a look at the meters. What was immediately noticeable was that the wind, a pleasant factor in heat, is considerably less on the side of parked cars. The windchill on the sunny side of the street (without parked cars) was therefore lower than the ‘shadow’ side of the street behind a row of parked cars.

Furthermore, the windchill in the shade of a mini tree soon turned out to be 2 degrees lower than the windchill in the sun in a windier place. So a mini-sized tree already has an effect!

The results have been sent to Cool Towns partner the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. We are looking forward to their analysis and the results!