AECURN ECR Profile – Jiawei Fu

Jiawei Fu is a full-time PhD candidate at James Cook University, based in Townsville, Queensland. Jiawei has a background in Landscape Architecture and her research interests encompass urban green space and urban microclimate. The central theme of her current PhD research is ‘how the spatial distribution of vegetation influences microclimate and human thermal comfort in urban streets’.

Your research in keywords?
Urban microclimate

Why is your research important?
With the city temperature rising, the cooling effect of urban vegetation has received increasing attention. However, little work has been done on how to arrive at optimized vegetation configuration to mitigate urban heat.

What ultimate goal/key issue is your research contributing to achieving/addressing?
Results of the research are expected to lead to a better understanding of the impact of urban vegetation that will help decision-makers better plan street vegetation for cooling cities.

What is your research ‘top-tip’?
The research aims to explore how the spatial distribution of vegetation influences microclimate and human thermal comfort in the streets of Townsville and Ipswich (Australia) and develop a framework for optimised vegetation configuration to best mitigate urban heat.

What is the biggest challenge you face in carrying out your research?
Lack of a professional team to work together.

Recent/best publications (or publications you are most proud of?)
Optimized greenery configuration to mitigate urban heat: A decade systematic review (available here), and abstract below.

Urban vegetation is a nature-based solution for cooling cities. Under global warming and urban population growth, it is essential to optimize urban vegetation configuration in the urban area to bring maximum cooling benefit. This paper reviews 85 optimized urban vegetation configuration studies published from 2010 to 2020 to provide an insight into the most effective vegetation configuration for urban heat mitigation. Patterns and preferences in methods and the optimized greenery configurations are comprehensively analyzed. The results indicate that size, quantity, and layout of urban green space and the physiological characteristics and spatial arrangement of urban vegetation significantly influence their cooling effect. Additionally, two other research gaps were identified. First, more research needs to be done in southern hemisphere cities experiencing rapid urbanization and severe impacts of extreme weather. Second, a comprehensive method for quantifying interactions and cumulative effects of natural and artificial factors in the urban environment is required. Future study needs a holistic understanding of the interactive effects of vegetation spatial distribution on urban environment and climate for a more accurate analysis of optimal cooling greening layouts in large urban areas at multi-scales.

You can get in touch with Jiawei and get to know more about his work through Research Gate

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