The lack of appropriate methodologies and indicators to quantify three-dimensional (3-D) building constructions poses challenges to authorities and urban planners when formulating polices to reduce health risks due to heat stress. This study evaluated the applicability of an innovative three-dimensional Urbanization Index (3DUI), based on remote sensing database, with a 5 m spatial resolution of 3-D man-made constructions to representing intra-urban variability of air temperature by assessing correlation of 3DUI with air temperature from a 3-D perspective. The results showed robust high correlation coefficients, ranging from 0.83 to 0.85, obtained within the 1,000 m circular buffer around weather stations regardless of season, year, or spatial location. Our findings demonstrated not only the strength of 3DUI in representing intra-urban airerature variability, but also its great potential for heat stress assessment within cities. In view of the maximum correlation between building volumes within the 1,000 m circular buffer and ambient air temperature, urban planning should consider setting ceilings for man-made construction volume in each 2 × 2 km 2 residential community for thermal environment regulation, especially in Asian metropolis with high population density in city centers.
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