‘Fit for Purpose’ Urban Heat Island Effect Study Methodology for Indian Cities

Rajan Rawal

CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India

Yash Shukla

CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India

Subham Das

CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India
Corresponding Author: subham.das@cept.ac.in

Tej Chavda

CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India

Rahul Agnihotri

Cool Coalition at UN Environment Programme, Paris, France

Lily Riahi

Cool Coalition at UN Environment Programme, Paris, France

Benjamin Hickman

Cool Coalition at UN Environment Programme, Paris, France

Parimita Mohanty

Cool Coalition at UN Environment Programme, Paris, France

Cite this article

Rawal, R., Shukla, Y., Das, S., Chavda, T., Agnihotri, R., Riahi, L., Hickman, B., Mohanty, P. (2024). ‘Fit for Purpose’ Urban Heat Island Effect Study Methodology for Indian Cities. In Proceedings of Energise 2023- Lifestyle, Energy Efficiency, and Climate Action, pp 206–216, Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy. https://doi.org/10.62576/MVJK2533


  • A systematic review of the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE) assessment literature and practices.
  • Derivations and defining the Level of Detail (LoD) classification.
  • Identifying the purposes of the UHIE study and categorizing the LoD for a ‘Fit for Purpose’.
  • Developing a commonly agreed methodology for Indian Cities.


The paper recognizes that the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE) occurs primarily due to urbanization impacting land surface characteristics, where the blue-green cover is replaced with complex-built fabric and increased anthropogenic heat emissions within urban areas. Without a common agreed-upon methodology with specific objectives that cities wish to accomplish, Indian cities are adopting varied methods to assess UHIE that do not help them attain the predefined objectives and are often found to be less scientific. This paper proposes a standardized methodology and underpins its argument on two frameworks, ‘Fit for the Purpose’ and ‘Level of Details,’ making it easier to adopt. Such efforts are expected to help cities account for the UHIE assessment with specific objectives that cities can optimize with available data and human and economic resources. The paper relies on a systematic literature review and considers the ground realities to develop the methodology. The proposed framework could be one of a kind to be adopted in India, helping cities evaluate their context and navigate them to solutions. It also aims to balance the suitable trade-off between data fidelity and decision-making efficiency, tailored to specific needs and constraints.


Urban Heat Island Effect, Level of Details, Fit for Purpose, Heat Action Plan, Outdoor Thermal Comfort.


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