During heat waves, old narrow and shaded streets offer significant advantages as they maintain lower temperatures by limiting sun exposure and providing ample shaded areas.
Narrow streets with tall buildings in historic Mediterranean cities have proven to be an effective solution for heat protection. These streets can be up to 10°C cooler than wider streets with shorter buildings (1). The design of tall buildings in Mediterranean cities focuses on providing shade on the streets while allowing natural airflow, crucial for cooling the surroundings. The close proximity of buildings also contributes to mutual shading.
In hot environments, the main objective is to keep the interior of buildings cool by preventing external heat from entering rapidly. This is commonly achieved by incorporating small openings and shading them with window blinds, verandas, overhanging roofs, trees, or adjacent buildings (2). Shading plays a vital role in hot weather, and ventilation is recommended during cooler periods of the day, such as at night, early morning, and evening.
The Ljubljanski ledenik (Ljubljana Glacier) project is an initiative dedicated to raising awareness about the significance, impact, and protection against heat waves. Discover more valuable content on posters strategically placed throughout the city centre and by visiting the following link. The project is co-funded by the Municipality of Ljubljana.
(1) Wang, M., & Xu, H., 2021. The impact of building height on urban thermal environment in summer: A case study of Chinese megacities. PloS one, 16(4). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0247786
(2) Oke, T. R., 1987. Boundary Layer Climates (2. izdaja). Routledge.