Submitted as: model description paper 26 May 2021

Submitted as: model description paper | 26 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Locating trees to mitigate outdoor radiant load of humans in urban areas using a metaheuristic hill climbing algorithm – Introducing TreePlanter v1.0

Nils Wallenberg, Fredrik Lindberg, and David Rayner Nils Wallenberg et al.
  • Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, 413 20, Sweden

Abstract. Mean radiant temperature (Tmrt) is a frequently-used measure of outdoor radiant heat conditions. Excessive Tmrt, linked especially to clear and warm days, have negative effect on human well-being. Highest Tmrt on such days is found in sunlit areas, whereas shaded areas have significantly lower values. One way of alleviating high Tmrt is by planting trees to provide shade in exposed areas. To achieve the most efficient mitigation of excessive Tmrt by tree shade with multiple trees requires optimized positioning of the trees, which is a computationally extensive procedure. By utilizing metaheuristics, calculations can be reduced. Here, we present TreePlanter v1.0, which applies a metaheuristic hill climbing algorithm on input raster data of Tmrt and shadow patterns to position trees in complex urban areas. The hill climbing algorithm enables dynamic exploration of the input data to position trees, compared with very computationally demanding brute-force calculations. The results show that the algorithm, in relatively low model runtime, can find positions for several trees simultaneously that lowers Tmrt substantially. TreePlanter can assist in future research on optimization of tree planting in urban areas to increase thermal comfort. The current version can only position trees of equal tree characteristics (tree height, tree canopy and trunk height). Expected developments include positioning of trees with different tree characteristics.

Nils Wallenberg et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-81', Anonymous Referee #1, 28 Jun 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Nils Wallenberg, 08 Nov 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on gmd-2021-81', Anonymous Referee #2, 27 Sep 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Nils Wallenberg, 08 Nov 2021

Nils Wallenberg et al.

Data sets

TreePlanter v1.0 test dataset Wallenberg, Nils; Lindberg, Fredrik

Model code and software

TreePlanter v1.0 as part of UMEP-processing Wallenberg, Nils; Lindberg, Fredrik

Nils Wallenberg et al.


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Short summary
Exposure to solar radiation on clear and warm days can lead to heat stress and thermal discomfort. This can be alleviated by planting trees providing shade in particularly warm areas. Here, we use a model to locate trees and optimize their blocking of solar radiation. Our results show that locations can differ depending e.g. tree size (juvenile or mature) and number of trees that are positioned simultaneously. The model is available as a tool, for accessibility by researchers and others.