COOL SPOTS IN HOT CLIMATES:
A Means to Achieve Pedestrain Comfort in Sharjah, UAE – Priji Balakrishnan, MArch Dissertation 2012
United Arab Emirates is a country that overturned the sands of the desert to become one of the most booming economies of West Asia. This resulted in a rapid urbanization and though the climate dictated its harshness, the urban centres developed against the climate, resulting in an urban fabric hostile to pedestrians. This dissertation undertakes a research into defining comfort for pedestrians in such extreme climate and a design proposal to improve the pedestrian experience taking the city of Sharjah as the base case of design application. The three factors that were identified through research and fieldwork to be the most influential in improving pedestrian comfort in Sharjah were providing shade, enhancing wind movement and reducing mean radiant temperatures. The design and the concept of the cool spot is a direct synthesis of the above three factors and the needs of the pedestrian that were observed in the city of Sharjah. The cool spot is urban furniture that can be envisioned as a shade from a dense canopy of tree with a ‘cool breeze’ beneath it.