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Urban climate research and planning applications in China: a scientometric and long-term review (1963–2018) based on CiteSpace

Feihao Chen*, Yefu Chen

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Urban climate research is essential for sustainable development. Few review papers have focused on long-term research and planning applications in China. We conducted a bibliometric review by using CiteSpace to elaborate changes in hot spots, frontiers, development processes, and applications of urban climate research from 1963 to 2018. Results summarized the four major research hot spots: 1) urban climate influence brought by urbanization, 2) analysis of meteorological factors and conditions, 3) numerical simulation of urban climate, and 4) urban planning and design in the context of climate change. Moreover, 15 of the most frequently cited keywords indicating research frontiers with specific time patterns were detected, and four key aspects were identified in terms of research content: urban climate effects and mechanisms, progress and reform of meteorological service systems, multi-scale numerical modeling, and mitigation and adaptation strategies for addressing climate change. Climate applications in China have undergone changes from the early wind rose map, to the use of multiple meteorological elements as a guide to city planning, and recently, to the adoption of emerging applications. Challenges and prospects, including the probable effects of the government and policies, specific long-standing research gaps, the paradigm shift in urban planning, and the requirement for readily available urban data, were also highlighted. This study provides a holistic perspective on the development process of long-term urban climate research in China. Findings can be pivotal in understanding the inner logic behind policies and their implementations and expected to pave the way for exploring new paths in urban sustainable development and planning transformation.