Seasonal differences in thermal sensation in the outdoor urban environment of Mediterranean climates – the example of Athens, Greece

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International Journal of Biometeorology


© 2017, ISB. Outdoor urban areas are very important for cities and microclimate is a critical parameter in the design process, contributing to thermal comfort which is important for urban developments. The research presented in this paper is part of extensive field surveys conducted in Athens aimed at investigating people’s thermal sensation in a Mediterranean city. Based on 2313 questionnaires and microclimatic data the current work focuses on the relative frequencies of people’s evaluation of the thermal along with the sun and wind sensations between two seasons trying to identify the seasonal differences in thermal sensation. The impact of basic meteorological factors on thermal discomfort with respect to season are also examined, as well as the use of the outdoor environment. Results show that psychological adaptation is an important contributing factor influencing perception of the thermal environment between seasons. In addition, the thermal sensation votes during the cool months show that individuals are satisfied to a great extend with the thermal environment whereas the combination of high air temperature, strong solar radiation and weak wind lead to thermal discomfort during summertime. As far as the appropriate urban design in the Mediterranean climate is concerned, priority should be given to the warm months of the year.

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