Behavioural perspectives of outdoor thermal comfort in urban areas: A critical review

Mohamed H. Elnabawi, Neveen Hamza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


The thermal characteristics of outdoor urban spaces and the street networks connecting them are vital to the assessment of the liveability and sustainability of cities. When urban spaces are thermally comfortable, city dwellers spend more time outdoors. This has several benefits for human health and wellbeing, also reducing indoor energy consumption and contributing to local economy. Studies on outdoor thermal comfort have highlighted the need to develop interdisciplinary frameworks that integrate physical, physiological, psychological, and social parameters to assist urban planners and designers in design decisions. In this paper, an extensive literature review of outdoor thermal comfort studies over the past decade was undertaken, including both rational and adaptive thermal comfort approaches, from the contextualize the behaviour perspectives related to the use of urban space. Consequently, the paper suggests a comprehensive framework for evaluating the relationship between the quantitative and qualitative parameters linking the microclimatic environment with subjective thermal assessment and social behaviour. The framework aims to contribute to the development of exclusive thermal comfort standards for outdoor urban settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number51
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Microclimate
  • Subjective thermal assessment
  • Temperature
  • Thermal comfort
  • Urban design
  • Urban planning
  • Urban space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science


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