Skip to main content

Microclimatic Design Research Group (MDRG)


The Microclimatic Design Research Group (MDRG) studies how urban design affects the microclimate and how microclimate affects the health and well-being of people.

Microclimate is the condition of the solar and terrestrial radiation, wind, air temperature, humidity, and precipitation in a small outdoor space. All of these elements are invisible to the human eye, but they strongly influence people’s every-day decisions such as whether or not to walk to work, to play sports in a park, or even to garden in the backyard. Microclimatic design can make places more thermally comfortable thus encouraging outdoor activity.

Global Climate Change (GCC) and Urban Heat Island (UHI) intensification are making American cities hotter places to live. Urban designers need solid evidence on how to reverse this trend, and they need proven strategies for redesigning cities so that they will be more thermally-comfortable and safe during heat waves.

As the global climate changes and cities become larger and more crowded it is becoming increasingly important to design them so that they ameliorate climate extremes. The Microclimatic Design Research Group (MDRG) at Texas A&M University involves collaboration between landscape architects, urban planners, micrometeorologists, and urban climatologists both within the university and with colleagues around the world including Arizona State University, University of Oklahoma, Michigan State University, University of Tokyo in Japan, Wageningen University in the Netherlands, Lincoln University in New Zealand, University of Guelph in Canada, and beyond. The outcomes will be positive impacts on the health and well-being of millions of people, now and in the future.


Five Goals

  1. Understand how urban form intentionally and inadvertently affects climate from micro- to macro-scale.
  2. Understand how urban climate affects people and other living organisms.
  3. Understand how urban heat islands can be ameliorated.
  4. Provide advice on how to plan and design places to reduce risk to human health and well-being.
  5. Identify how microclimatic design knowledge can be most effectively communicated.



# Dr. Brown's Website: Design with Microclimate

# COMFA Download