Accessing the impact of land use/cover change on human thermal comfort in Kampala
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Kampala capital city is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa having witnessed a strong increase in population, economic growth and industrialization in recent years. The most widely increasing and significant sources of today’s change in earth’s land is Land cover/use change which in turn causes changes in climate conditions (e.g. rise in temperature) and worsening thermal environmental conditions thus increasing the vulnerability of people and their property (e.g. heat-related illness). The main objective of this study was to assess the impact of land cover change on human thermal comfort using remote sensing and GIS. Temporal Landsat satellite imagery of 1987 to 2016 was used to perform analysis. Also, an attempt was made at comparing THI of different land cover types. Results show the declining trend in vegetation from 1987 to 2016 at an average rate of 10.4%, increasing trend in built areas and water at a rate of 9.37% and 7.11% respectively. This saw a rise in discomfort region with THI >26 and a decrease in THI<19 from 1987 to 2016. Also, the comfort class was the most dominant across most land cover classes. Relationship between NDBI and LST showed a strong positive correlation whereas NDVI and RH both showed a strong negative correlation.