Studying Urban Heat Island Effect Over New York City Using Satellite Observations, Ground-based Measurements, and Community Engagement


Hamid Norouzi1,2* (, Reginald Blake1,2, Abdou Bah1,2


1 New York City College of Technology, CUNY, Brooklyn, NY; 2 The Graduate Center of CUNY, New York, NY


The urban heat island (UHI) is among the major environmental issues encountered in urban regions. To better predict the dynamics of the UHI and its impacts on extreme heat events, an accurate characterization of the surface energy balance in urban regions is needed. However, the ability to improve understanding of the surface energy balance is limited by the heterogeneity of surfaces in urban areas.

This study aims to enhance the understanding of the urban surface energy budget and land surface temperature (LST) through an innovation in the use of remote sensing satellite observations and ground-based measurements. The research team conducts urban climate data collections using a suite of instruments such as flux towers, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), infrared cameras, and hand-held temperature measuring devices. The team developed an algorithm to downscale a LST database with 5-minute temporal and 30-meter spatial resolution over New York City. Researchers also developed a model to identify cool corridors and open street paths as a resilient solution and response to UHI. A partnership with Brookhaven National Laboratory has been established through the DOE Research Development and Partnership Pilot funded project. The team is organizing a community field data collection for spring and summer 2023 in Manhattan and Brooklyn, NY. Finally, researchers will engage with the local community in Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY, in order to inform them about the urban heat island and to gauge its health and societal impacts.