Climate change has been an issue that has been intensely debated and criticized for the past few decades. New York City, a massively man-made city is currently trying its best to combat climate change by implementing new codes, laws and practices for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly city. Despite its current progress in trying to become a green city, the architecture, and landscaping in the city has an effect on the climate that not many people are aware of and is relatively big when taken into consideration.
Architecture and buildings have played a large part in affecting the climate and temperatures in cities due to the materials that are used to make up the building as well as the resources needed to complete the construction of them. Concrete and masonry are materials that are used greatly in New York as some of the main components of building structure and facades of buildings, as well as sidewalks and infrastructure of the city. These materials absorb and entrap heat, leading to higher average temperatures in areas of the city in which there are many man made structures.
We performed an experiment, measuring the average temperatures of different types of materials across a small area of downtown Brooklyn. We used a thermometer to measure the average air temperature and a thermal radar to measure the temperature of different materials including grass, dirt, concrete, and pavement in sunny and shady areas. What we noticed is that grassy areas and dirt areas on average, had cooler temperatures in both shady and sunny conditions. Another observation made was that concrete and pavement from sidewalks would maintain higher average temperatures in comparison to the grass and dirt areas, regardless of being in either a shady or sunny area.
From these observations we can see that the density of man-made structures will impact the average temperatures of cities and urban areas which will continue to experience warmer temperatures because of the materials that are used for their construction. These higher temperatures affect the climate of these areas.