City Corporation’s guidelines on thermal comfort recognised at London Building Planning Awards

The City of London Corporation’s ground-breaking Thermal Comfort Guidelines won the Best Project for Sustainable Planning category at the prestigious Building London Planning Awards this week.

The guidelines – believed to be the first of their kind globally – introduce a new technique into planning to understand the microclimatic qualities of the City’s public spaces. It also establishes a methodology to assess the impact of new developments on the microclimate of the Square Mile’s streets, parks, public roof gardens and terraces and other public spaces.

The technique involves merging wind, sunlight, temperature and humidity microclimate data at a seasonal level to gain a holistic understanding of thermal comfort, which essentially captures how the local microclimate of any given place actually feels to the public.

It is internationally ground-breaking initiative working alongside the consultancy RWDI and collaboratively with the micro-climatic engineering industry.

The guidelines are used by the City Corporation when negotiating new developments as well as formulating planning policy.

It is also an important tool in understanding the areas of the City that could be susceptible to future summer heat stress as a result to increasing temperature rise projections due to climate change. This in turn enables the City Corporation to put measures in place to mitigate the risk such as tree planting. It also identifies areas of winter cold stress as well as those areas of the best thermal comfort quality.

Chairman of the Planning and Transportation Committee, Shravan Joshi, said:

“Planning for and adapting to a changing environment has become all the more important as we begin to see more extreme weather events, more frequently.

“These guidelines are helping us assess and mitigate the climate risks to our local environment, making our public spaces comfortable and accessible for everyone to enjoy.

“We are harnessing technology and data for this world-leading initiative to ensure a more sustainable Square Mile for the people to live, work, study and visit here.”

The City Centre currently has a public exhibition showcasing the initiative. 

Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk