Examining the Microclimate Pattern and Related Spatial Perception of the Urban Stormwater Management Landscape: The Case of Rain Gardens

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2023-07-12
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MDPI
Abstract

This study examines the microclimate pattern and related spatial perception of urban green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) and the stormwater management landscape, using rain gardens as a case study. It investigates the relationship between different rain garden design factors, such as scale, depth, and planting design, and their effects on microclimate patterns and human spatial perception. Taking an area in Blacksburg, Virginia, as the study site, twelve rain garden design scenarios are generated by combining different design factors. The potential air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed/direction are analyzed through computational simulation. Additionally, feelings of comfort, the visual beauty of the landscape, and the overall favorite are used as an evaluation index to investigate people’s perception of various rain garden design options. The study found that a multilayer and complex planting design can add more areas with moderate temperature and higher humidity. It also significantly improves people’s subjective perception of a rain garden. Furthermore, a larger scale rain garden can make people feel more comfortable and improve the visual beauty of the landscape, highlighting the importance of designing larger and recreational bioretention cells in GSI systems. Regarding depth, a relatively flatter rain garden with a complex planting design can bring stronger air flow and achieve better visual comfort and visual beauty. Overall, by examining the microclimate pattern and related perception of rain gardens, this study provides insight into better rain garden design strategies for the urban stormwater management landscape. It explores the potential of rain garden design in urban GSI and responds to climate change.

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Citation
Ge, M.; Huang, Y.; Zhu, Y.; Kim, M.; Cui, X. Examining the Microclimate Pattern and Related Spatial Perception of the Urban Stormwater Management Landscape: The Case of Rain Gardens. Atmosphere 2023, 14, 1138.