Journal of the Bulgarian Geographical Society 49: 113-127, doi: 10.3897/jbgs.e113695
Setting up the ENVI-met digital tool to evaluate climatic conditions at an urban scale: a case study of Djelfa, Algeria
expand article infoMohamed Brahimi§, Moussadek Benabbas§, Djamila Djaghrouri§
‡ University of Chlef, Chlef, Algeria§ University of Biskra, Biskra, Algeria
Open Access
Urbanization has radically transformed natural landscapes, giving rise to complex urban environments worldwide. This transformation poses unique challenges in terms of climatic conditions. We emphasize the crucial importance of understanding urban microclimates shaped by geographical, architectural and human factors, requiring meticulous management for sustainable urban planning. These multifaceted factors interact to produce spatial variations in solar exposure, temperature and wind conditions, leading to distinct microclimatic pockets within cities. This underlines the imperative need for sustainable urban planning and design that takes account of their impact. Our field survey is located in Djelfa, Algeria, featuring a semi-arid to arid climate with continental influences. This article presents a methodology involving a detailed morphological analysis of the urban fabric, focusing on its structure, vegetation cover and spatial characteristics. It describes the use of ENVI-met, a powerful microclimate simulation tool offering a complete three-dimensional modeling system that integrates various urban elements, including buildings, streets and green spaces. Our spatial considerations guarantee model accuracy, with a rigorous geometry validation process maintaining model fidelity. The tool produces invaluable output data, including air temperature, relative humidity and thermal comfort indices. This paper emphasizes on the application of the model in Djelfa, Algeria, highlighting its potential in evaluating thermal condition in urban environments. The results of our study highlight significant temperature and humidity disparities between urbanized and green areas in the survey area, with temperature differences of up to 6°C during the day. Urbanized areas consistently have higher air temperatures and lower humidity levels, particularly during the day. Conversely, green spaces, including gardens and tree-lined areas, exhibit lower temperatures and higher humidity levels, offering valuable respite from heat stress. The use of the Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET) index allows us to assess thermal comfort, revealing variations in heat stress levels across the urban landscape. This research highlights the crucial importance of integrating green infrastructure into urban planning to improve thermal comfort and livability in cities. Furthermore, our study reveals the value of advanced tools like ENVI-met in understanding urban microclimates and provides valuable information for sustainable urban development and climate adaptation strategies.
ENVI-met model, green space, simulation, thermal comfort, urban heat stress, urban microclimate, urban planning, urbanized areas