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Green parks significantly reduce urban temperature in Abu Dhabi

Tue 23 Apr 2024    
The Brew News Team | 2 min read

Abu Dhabi: A groundbreaking study by Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) in Abu Dhabi and the U.S. technology giant IBM has found that green parks in Abu Dhabi play a crucial role in reducing urban temperature, with some areas experiencing a cooling effect of up to 2.2°C.

Dr. Salman Khan, Associate Professor of Computer Vision at MBZUAI, said in an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM) that the study used AI-enabled technology to analyse decades of satellite data and found that vegetation and water bodies have a significant impact on reducing urban heat island effects.

An urban heat island occurs when a city experiences much warmer temperatures than nearby rural areas. This happens because densely developed urban areas absorb and radiate heat, increasing local surface and air temperatures and exacerbating global warming.

The study, part of the “AI-enabled Urban Heat Island Detection and Mitigation” project, aims to identify the factors contributing to urban heat islands and develop strategies to mitigate them.

Dr. Khan highlighted the significant cooling effects of two parks in particular. Masdar Park in Masdar city on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi city has reduced temperatures by 2.2°C in that area. Umm Al Emarat Park in Abu Dhabi City has resulted in a 1°C cooling effect in the centre of Abu Dhabi island.

The study’s findings prove the importance of green spaces in urban areas, which can help mitigate the negative impacts of urban heat islands on human health and well-being.

The study’s analysis of satellite data, including thermal channels, vegetation, and building footprints, provided valuable insights into the impact of parks on reducing urban heat islands.

Dr. Khan emphasised that the study’s results can inform urban planning strategies, identifying areas where increased vegetation can have the greatest impact on reducing temperatures. The research also demonstrated the potential of AI-enabled technology to forecast the effects of urban interventions on temperature reduction.

The study’s findings have significant implications for urban planning and development, highlighting the need to prioritise green spaces and sustainable urban design to mitigate the negative impacts of urban heat islands.

Dr. Khan noted, “We can definitely increase the amount of vegetation in urban areas, and we have seen successful projects on Abu Dhabi island, where the amount of vegetation has increased significantly over the past ten years, contributing to a substantial reduction in temperatures.”

Also read: HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid tours the world’s largest vertical hydroponic farm in Dubai

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