A path analysis of outdoor comfort in urban public spaces

Y. Peng, T. Feng (Corresponding author), H.J.P. Timmermans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)
319 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-467
Number of pages9
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019


  • Outdoor comfort
  • Outdoor activity
  • Psychological factors
  • Thermal sensation
  • Indirect effects


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