Learning to Chill: The Role of Design Schools and Professional Training to Improve Urban Climate and Urban Metabolism

Mohammad Taleghani, Azadeh Montazami, Daniela Perrotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The increased frequency of heat-related mortality and morbidity in urban environments indicates the importance of urban climate studies. As most of the world's population lives in cities, the education of designers, planners and policy makers is crucial to promote urban sustainability This paper, firstly, focuses on the different factors causing the urban heat islands in large cities. Secondly, it considers how these factors are reflected in higher education programmes. Examples are shown from courses in UK higher education, explaining the common software tools used for simulating urban spaces, and student field measurements are drawn on to illustrate how urban climate studies are included in higher education curricula. Urban metabolism is used to conceptualise the main approach to systemic resource-use assessments and as a holistic framework to investigate the main drivers of the urban heat island phenomenon. To sum up, this paper reflects on the importance of training climatically-aware graduates from design schools.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2243
Number of pages14
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2020

Bibliographical note

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution
(CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


  • Design schools
  • Material flow analysis
  • Resource management
  • Surface properties
  • Urban heat islands
  • Urban metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Optimization
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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