Phnom Penh, as one of the most rapidly urbanizing cities in Cambodia, has been chosen as a case study for looking at Urban Heat Islands (UHI), which are strongly correlated with urbanization. Eight-month data (December 2020 to July 2021) of air temperature and wind velocity from automated weather stations in and around Phnom Penh were analyzed for this study. UHI was calculated using the difference between urban and suburban air temperatures. The contribution of the urbanization effect to the changes in the urban air temperature and wind velocity were evaluated and subsequently a potential relation between urbanization and UHI was examined. The study results indicate that the central business districts (CBDs), with high and dense buildings, may inhibit the inflow of wind leading to an increased UHI intensity in Phnom Penh. The UHI intensity in the city differs from area to area depending on the various stages of urban development for each area. We found that the difference in the increase rate of the UHI intensity between CBDs and suburban areas in Phnom Penh was 1.31°C on average. The difference in wind velocity rate was 1.9 m s−1 on average. This effect may be responsible for the lower UHI intensity in suburban areas compared to that in CBDs.
Speaker: Bunleng Se is a lecturer and group leader of the Climate Change and Water Group, Department of Geography and Land Management, Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) since 2012. He is currently a CKS Dissertation Research Fellow and Ph.D. candidate at RUPP in the Khmer Studies Program. His research aims to evaluate the contribution of the urbanization effect to urban air temperature changes and to examine the relationship between urbanization and urban heat island.
Moderator: Natharoun Ngo, CKS Director