Supervisors: Dr Simos Yannas, Dr Paula Cadima

Pedestrians are vital to cities. Walking has become the most sustainable means of transportation that favours urban mobility and vitality. In Dubai, this notion has been jeopardized by the harsh climate and rapid urbanisation. The microclimatic conditions have been impaired by the morphology of the built environment creating unappealing outdoor spaces that lack solar protection. The current study aims to improve pedestrian thermal comfort in Dubai prolonging the distances travelled by walking at different times of the year. The influence of different shading conditions and wind accelerations on people’s thermal sensation and thermal comfort is being investigated in two urban communities, Greens and Jumeirah Lakes Towers. The transient conditions encountered by residents on their journeys to work, metro, school, and mosque, and the effect of changes in the physical and thermal environment are being monitored for a year. This involves environmental measurements, interviews, and computer simulations. This research aims to develop a design solution that improve pedestrians’ thermal comfort thus encourage walkability.

Nihal is an architect and a PhD candidate at the Architectural Association School of architecture. She completed her MSc at the British University of Dubai in 2011, in Sustainable Design of the Built Environment. Her researches focused mainly on environmental design of buildings and urban settings. She practiced design for few years in Egypt and UAE before teaching in Abu Dhabi University, UAE in 2011. She mentored the third prize undergraduate student research competition UGSRC titled “Green Solutions for Green Organizations” and lead the Sustainable Summer School 2012, at the British University of Dubai, to spread awareness of reducing the carbon footprint of UAE.

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Nihal Al Sabbagh