This study therefore investigated preferred solar exposure of resting

This study therefore investigated preferred solar exposure of resting park visitors on summer and tropical days at various daytimes in the Netherlands through studying visitors’ behavioural response (park attendance, spatio-temporal user patterns) and thermal perception. This way, we obtained evidence-based climate-responsive design guidelines for future park design in moderate climates (Brown and Corry, 2011; Brown et al., 2015). To inform design scientific evidence should be translated into design guidelines in an accessible and understandable way (Prominski, 2017) so that design professionals are encouraged to take microclimate aspects into account when shaping outdoor spaces (Nassauer and Opdam, 2008; Ward Thompson, 2013).
Consequently, the main research question was: What are evidence-based design guidelines for thermally comfortable future parks in moderate climates? To answer this main question, the following sub-questions were formulated:

Methods and materials
A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods delivered an empirical database to inform design guidelines for future parks. By combining surveys, unobtrusive observations and spatial analysis we related park visitors’ behaviour and thermal perception to meteorological reference data and spatial characteristics of the parks. The conceptual framework of this study is shown in Fig. 1.

Results and discussion

Conlusions: design guidelines for future parks
Investigations on human behaviour of resting park visitors on summer and tropical days (Ta max>25°C and>30°C, respectively) clearly indicate the need for creating a variety of solar exposure conditions when designing parks of the future. Regarding research question 1 (What is the importance of microclimate on the spatial preferences of resting park visitors?), survey results emphasize the central role of microclimate, in particular solar exposure, for park visitors when choosing resting locations. The survey results regarding research question 2 (What is the thermal perception of resting park visitors on summer and tropical days?) showed that park visitors described their perception of thermal comfort at their actual resting locations on a high level during both, ‘summer’ and ‘tropical’ days. Thus, even though park visitors experienced a heat wave, they abacavir sulfate were able to find resting locations in the parks that they perceived as thermally comfortable. Observational results related to research question 3 (How does extreme air temperature in summer influence daily park attendance) indicate that daily park attendance significantly decreases with rising air temperature (Tamax). In contrast to earlier studies, our results suggest that park attendance decreases with rising temperatures in moderate climates. This outcome once more demonstrates the need for climate-responsive park design, encouraging outdoor recreation and activity during warmer future climate conditions (Brown et al., 2015). The results concerning research question 4 (What are the user patterns related to solar exposure of resting park visitors on summer and tropical days?) indicate that air temperature (Ta) governs solar exposure preferences of park visitors. With increased Ta the number of park visitors increased significantly in the shade and decreased in the sun. A tipping point at 26°C was found beyond which visitors prefer the shade to the sun.
Observational results, moreover, show that solar exposure preference of resting park visitors is nuanced; not only sun or shade but also half shade spaces are used to find thermally comfortable places under various thermal conditions (summer and tropical) and on various times of the day (from 11:00 to 17:00). Based on the observational data we derived a typical ratio of resting park visitors in sun 40%, shade 40% and half shade 20%. Pertaining to research question 5 (What are spatial typologies for optimal park use on summer and tropical days?) this study provides a typology of vegetation configurations, that are spatially explicit and communicated as visual information (icons) to guide future park design (Brown and Corry, 2011; Prominski, 2017). Accordingly, designers should create broad varieties of microclimates, from open lawns and sunny spots around single trees or groups of trees (which are preferred on summer days), to shaded areas provided by solitary trees, small groups of trees, edges of tree clumps, boscages and scattered trees (preferred on tropical days). In order to create such broad ranges of microclimates in parks designers need to systematically analyse solar exposure patterns and consider diurnal and seasonal shapes and sizes of shade provided by different tree species. Shade analyses in GIS applications (as applied in this study) or in 3D modelling software are useful tools for professional designers to analyse existing and new park shade patterns.