Urban settlement structures differ significantly from the surrounding rural areas in many respects, including climatic factors such as precipitation, wind conditions, and temperature – one consequence of this are so-called urban heat islands. Urban heat islands are mainly caused by surface development in cities that absorb heat and remove the natural layer of vegetation and moisture-retaining soil. As a result, the temperature differential between the city and the hinterland can be 12°C, placing a significant health burden on city-dwellers.

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