The horizontal two-dimensional (2D) urban land use approach is not sufficient to trace rapid changes in urban environment. Hence, a three-dimensional (3D) approach that is different from the traditional geographical method is necessary to understand the mechanism of compound urban diversity. Using remote sensing data captured in 2010/2011 and geospatial tools and techniques, we quantified the urban volume (UV, consisting of urban built volume (UBV) and urban green volume (UGV)) and retrieved and mapped the land surface temperature (LST) of two cities in Japan (Tsukuba, a planned city, and Tsuchiura, a traditional city). We compared these two cities in terms of (1) UBV and UGV and their relationships with mean LST; and (2) the relationship of the UGV-UBV ratio with mean LST. Tsukuba had a total UBV of 74 million m3, while Tsuchiura had a total of 89 million m3. In terms of UGV, Tsukuba had a total of 52 million m3, while Tsuchiura had a total of 29 million m3. In both cities, UBV had a positive relationship with mean LST (Tsukuba: R2 = 0.31, p < 0.001; Tsuchiura: R2 = 0.42, p < 0.001), and UGV had a negative relationship with mean LST (Tsukuba: R2 = 0.53, p < 0.001; Tsuchiura: R2 = 0.19, p < 0.001). Tsukuba also had a higher UGV-UBV ratio of 54.9% in comparison with Tsuchiura, with 28.7%. Overall, the results indicate that mean LST was more intense in the traditional city (Tsuchiura). This could have been due to the difference in urban spatial structure. As a planned city, Tsukuba is still a relatively young city that has more dispersed green spaces and a well-spread (so far) built-up area.
- Urban built volume
- Urban green volume