A path analysis of outdoor comfort in urban public spaces

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Research on outdoor comfort generally focuses on the thermal sensation as a substitute for actual comfort. The assessment of outdoor comfort, however, is complex in nature because it involves various contextual settings in open spaces, individuals' social demographics, and psychological factors. In contributing to the existing literature, this study attempts to extend the modelling framework of outdoor comfort assessment by incorporating physical microclimate, spatial contexts, social demographics and individuals' subjective perceptions, expectations and preferences. A path analysis is conducted to capture the direct and indirect effects of various factors on comfort using the data collected in a field experiment. Results show that the causal dependency, which is normally simplified in existing studies, can be better illustrated with the indirect effects through mediators. The use of objective indicators and individuals’ subjective factors are fundamental to adequately capture the actual comfort in urban public spaces.
LanguageEnglish
Pages459-467
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume148
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

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path analysis
public space
open space
microclimate
psychological factors
Experiments
demographic factors
modeling
experiment
effect
Hot Temperature
indicator
field experiment

Cite this

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title = "A path analysis of outdoor comfort in urban public spaces",
abstract = "Research on outdoor comfort generally focuses on the thermal sensation as a substitute for actual comfort. The assessment of outdoor comfort, however, is complex in nature because it involves various contextual settings in open spaces, individuals' social demographics, and psychological factors. In contributing to the existing literature, this study attempts to extend the modelling framework of outdoor comfort assessment by incorporating physical microclimate, spatial contexts, social demographics and individuals' subjective perceptions, expectations and preferences. A path analysis is conducted to capture the direct and indirect effects of various factors on comfort using the data collected in a field experiment. Results show that the causal dependency, which is normally simplified in existing studies, can be better illustrated with the indirect effects through mediators. The use of objective indicators and individuals’ subjective factors are fundamental to adequately capture the actual comfort in urban public spaces.",
author = "Y. Peng and T. Feng and H.J.P. Timmermans",
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journal = "Building and Environment",
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A path analysis of outdoor comfort in urban public spaces. / Peng, Y.; Feng, T.; Timmermans, H.J.P.

In: Building and Environment, Vol. 148, 2019, p. 459-467.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AB - Research on outdoor comfort generally focuses on the thermal sensation as a substitute for actual comfort. The assessment of outdoor comfort, however, is complex in nature because it involves various contextual settings in open spaces, individuals' social demographics, and psychological factors. In contributing to the existing literature, this study attempts to extend the modelling framework of outdoor comfort assessment by incorporating physical microclimate, spatial contexts, social demographics and individuals' subjective perceptions, expectations and preferences. A path analysis is conducted to capture the direct and indirect effects of various factors on comfort using the data collected in a field experiment. Results show that the causal dependency, which is normally simplified in existing studies, can be better illustrated with the indirect effects through mediators. The use of objective indicators and individuals’ subjective factors are fundamental to adequately capture the actual comfort in urban public spaces.

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