Exchange of Heat Radiation between Human Body and Urban Environment: Characterization in Visible, Near-Infrared, and Far-Infrared Regions

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In urban environments, radiation energy from the sun becomes a heat load on the human body. The radiation energy can be divided into visible, near-infrared, and far-infrared wavelengths. Far-infrared radiation is re-emitted from structures that have been warmed by the sun. On the other hand, visible and near-infrared light comes directly or reflected from structures. However, previous studies have measured environmental changes using only far-infrared cameras to study urban heat island (UHI) countermeasures. Therefore, it is important to measure the environmental radiation energy at each wavelength region to properly discuss the cause of the heat load. To conduct the measurements, we used three cameras operating at different wavelengths: visible, near-infrared, and far-infrared. In addition, the measurements were conducted in different urban locations, seasons, and weather conditions in the Tokyo area of Japan, an urban metropolis. The results for far-infrared wavelengths show that, in summer when the temperature is high, all structures except the sky have a positive heat load on the human body, while, in winter or cloudy weather when the temperature is low, the heat load on the human body is negative. The results of heat load measurements at visible and near-infrared wavelengths show that the heat load varies greatly depending on the proportion of sky, plants, and buildings, despite the proportion of ground area being the same. These results indicate that the differences in radiation wavelengths need to be considered when considering reducing the heat load on the human body in urban environments. Therefore, the proposed method could contribute to the development of more effective UHI countermeasures by measuring in a various environments and countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10412
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct


  • heat load
  • human body
  • radiation
  • temperature
  • urban heat island
  • wavelength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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