On the linkage between urban heat island and urban pollution island: Three-decade literature review towards a conceptual framework

Sci Total Environ. 2021 Jan 10;751:141727. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141727. Epub 2020 Aug 18.


With the doubling of urban population within the next two decades and the disproportionate growth of megacities, it is critical to explore the synergism between urban heat and pollution. In this paper, a systematic review is conducted on the existing knowledge, collected since 1990, on the link between urban heat island (UHI) and urban pollution island (UPI). Results from 16 countries and 11 Köppen-Geiger climatic zones are perused and compared to delineate methodological and experimental trends, geographical dependencies and research gaps. Detailed content analysis is conducted according to five prominent topics: i) the role of UHI on temperature-dependent chemistry, ii) the daytime/nighttime variability in the UHI-UPI interaction, iii) the role of urban geomorphic types, forms and growth schemes, iv) future trends and v) primary and secondary effects of UHI mitigation on urban air quality. Different approaches and observations are eventually harmonized to outline opportunities and challenges towards the disentanglement and/or the two-way mitigation of both phenomena. This will help governments and urban planners to deliver coping strategies and precautions towards a more salutogenic urban design.

Keywords: Air quality; Climate change; Heat mitigation; Tropospheric ozone; Urban heat island; Urban pollution.

Publication types

  • Review