Classifying Thermal Climate Zones to Support Urban Environmental Planning and Management in the Bangkok Metropolitan Area

Main Article Content

Manat Srivanit
Kazunori Hokao
Pawinee Iamtrakul


The Thermal Climate Zone (TCZ) is the basic unit of urban planning, defined as an area of thermally homogenous surface structure and cover, which was used in a GIS-multivariate analysis approach to delineate thermal climate units. With an understanding of the thermal impacts that planning decisions can have, it is essential to know how TCZs can be designed to regulate temperatures in the urban environment. Our aim in this study was twofold: 1) to facilitate consistent documentation of zone metadata and thereby improve the basis of intersite comparisons, and 2) to provide an objective protocol for measuring the magnitude of the urban heat island effect in the city. The analysis presented was applied on Bangkok Metropolitan Area. By surface properties differentiation, the urban-rural continuum yields a hierarchy of 7 TCZs. Land surface temperature was extracted from daytime LANDSAT TM (April 25th, 2009) image which was used to represent the stability of summer tem-peratures for different TCZs. We found that an urban–rural temperature difference, or urban heat island intensity, can often exceed 4.23°C in the summer. A spatially exhaustive map of TCZ would be helpful for city planners for two reasons. First, it would localize urban areas concerned by different climate behavior over the summer season and represented as a good indicator of urban climate variability. Second, when overlaid with a land cover map, this TCZ map may contribute to the identification of possible urban management strategies to reduce heat wave effects in the city. These results are clearly useful and essential pieces of information that can be applied in urban planning to improve climate adaptability.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details



Ahamed, T. R. N., Rao, K. G., & Murthy, J. S. R. (2000). GIS-based fuzzy membership model for crop-land suitability analysis. Agricultural Systems, 63(2), 75–95.

Ellefsen, R. (1991). Mapping and measuring buildings in the urban canopy boundary layer in ten US cities. Energy & Buildings, 16(3-4),1025-1049.

Floyd, F. S. (1996). Remote sensing, principles and interpretation. W. H. Freeman and company (New York), pp. 405-406.

Golany, G. S. (1996). Urban design morphology and thermal performance. Atmospheric Environment, 30(3), 455-465.

Grimmond, C. S. B., & Oke, T. R. (1999). Aerodynamic properties of urban areas derived from analysis of surface form. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 38(9), 1262–1292.

Hirano, Y. (2001). The estimation of green coverage ratio using NVI based on linear mixing model. Summaries of Technical Papers of Annual Meeting Architectural Institute of Japan, D-1, pp. 517-572.

Houet, T., & Pigeon, G. (2011). Mapping urban climate zones and quantifying climate behaviors - An application on Toulouse urban area (France). Environmental Pollution, 159(8-9), 2180-2192.

Hu, T., & Yoshie, R. (2013). Indices to evaluate ventilation efficiency in newly-built urban area at pedestrian level. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 112, 39–51.

Kataoka, K., Matsumoto, F., Ichinose, T., & Taniguchi, M. (2009). Urban warming trends in several large Asian cities over the last 100 years. Science of the Total Environment, 407(9), 3112-3119.

Kraas, F. (2007). Megacities and global change in east, southeast and south Asia. ASIEN 103(S), pp. 9–22.

Mills, G. (2006). Progress toward sustainable settlements: A role for urban climatology. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 84(1-3), 69–76.

Ng, E. Y. Y. (2009). Designing High-density cities for social and environmental suitability. Earthscan, Springer, London, VA.

Nichol, J. E., & Wong, M. S. (2008). Spatial variability of air temperature and appropriate resolution for satellite-derived air temperature estimation. International Journal of Remote Sensing,29(24), 7213-7223.

Oke, T. R. (1984). Towards a prescription for the greater use of climatic principles in settlement planning. Energy and Building, 7(1), 1-10.

Oke, T. R., Taesler, R., & Olsson, L. E. (1990). The tropical urban climate experiment (TRUCE). Energy and Buildings, 15(1-2), 67-73.

Oke, T. R. (2004). Urban observations, World Meteorological Organization. IOM Report N° 81; WMO/TD n° 1250.

Owen, S. M., MacKenzie, A. R., Bunce, R. G. H., Stewart, H. E., Donovan, R. G., Stark, G., & Hewitt, C. N. (2006). Urban land classification and its uncertainties using principal component and cluster analyses: A case study for the UK West Midlands. Landscape and Urban Planning, 78, 311-321.

Purevdorj, Ts., Tateishi, R., Ishiyama, T., & Honda, Y. (1998). Relationships between percent vegetation cover and vegetation indices. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 19(18), 3519-3535.

Ren, C., Ng, E. Y. Y., & Katschner, L. (2011). Urban climatic map studies: A review. International Journal of Climatology, 31(15), pp. 2213–2233.

Sotoma, M., Miyazaki, H., Kyakuno, T., & Moriyama, M. (2003). Analysis of land use zoning regulations and green coverage ratio. Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering, 2(2), 25-34.

Srivanit, M., & Hokao, K. (2011). The influence of urban morphology indicators on summer diurnal range of urban climate in Bangkok metropolitan area, Thailand. International Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering IJCEE-IJENS, 11(05), pp. 34-46.

Srivanit, M., & Hokao, K. (2012). Thermal infrared remote sensing for urban climate and environmental studies: An application for the city of Bangkok, Thailand. Journal of Architectural/Planning Research and Studies, 9(1), 83-100.

Srivanit, M., & Hokao, K. (2012). Assessing the impact of urbanization on urban thermal environment: A case study of Bangkok Metropolitan. International Journal of Applied Science and Technology, 2(7), 234-256.

Stewart, I. D., & Oke, T.R. (2012). Local climate zones for urban temperature studies. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 93(12), 1879–1900.

United Nations. (2002). World urbanization prospects: The 2001 revision. New York: Author.UN. (2010). Department of economic and social affairs. Population Division, World Urbanization Prospects. The 2009 Revision. CD-ROM.

Vanno, S. (2012). Bangkok’s green infrastructure. Journal of Architectural/Planning Research and Studies, 9(2), 1-13.

Wong, N. H., & Chen, Y. (2005). Study of green areas and urban heat island in a tropical city. Habitat Intertional, 29(3), 547-558.

Zhao, C., Fu, G., Liu, X., & Fu, F. (2011). Urban planning indicators, morphology and climate indicators: A case study for a north-south transect of Beijing, China. Building and Environment, 46(5), 1174-1183.