AbstractThis study sought to demonstrate that small renewal projects could contribute to improved ventilation for the mitigation of urban heat island effects by designing building forms through urban design guidelines. Such a task is particularly important in an older built environment in many early developed cities, where large-scale urban renewal has been difficult to implement. Consequently, wind corridors are unlikely to be created to transfer heat away from cities, as suggested by previous studies. This study used computer simulations to assess the extent to which changes in building forms could drive wind flow through small-scale renewal sites. The removal of small, fragmented buildings during the renewal process was found to be of great significance for improving local ventilation, which can be regulated through urban design strategies with a low building coverage ratio. Moreover, adjusting the floor area ratio could help create open spaces that benefit on-site and off-site wind environments. This study highlighted small-scale urban renewal projects and their contribution to improving ventilation and mitigating urban heat island effects. These projects can be applied in urban renewal and regeneration through urban design guidelines for the regulation of the spatial distribution of buildings. Of note, wind factors must be integrated into site planning and architectural design processes. In conclusion, the incorporation of wind factors into planning and design processes will help combat urban heat island effects in cities.