- Vegetation provided a more stable daytime microclimate and lower temperature.
- Pedestrians preferred more vegetation in city squares in Aracaju, Brazil.
- Human behavior did not align with vegetation in two out of three studied squares.
- How to add vegetation in a way that suits local customs and activities.
- Both vegetation and human behavior should be coordinated in future urban design.
Trees and green spaces are part of the environmental systems that are essential to the quality of human life in urban spaces. In general, Brazilian cities have a high proportion of impermeable surfaces which affect the urban microclimate. This paper examined the impact of vegetation presence and configuration on human behavior in three downtown squares in Aracaju, Brazil. The monitored period was summer in 2014–2015. The study collected data on the microclimates of urban squares, conducted surveys of urban features and pedestrian preferences, and developed human behavior maps. Results showed that the green spaces provided more stable microclimates during the day and lower surface temperatures than other urban settings in the squares, which provided a more comfortable thermal environment for people. However, the preferences of pedestrians were not aligned to green spaces in the human behavior maps in two of these squares. It was found that the configuration of the landscape design in squares and surrounding commercial activity influenced human behavior more than the microclimate benefits of vegetation in the urban environment. Urban planning laws can be used to adjust the design and environmental conditions in highly developed urban centers to increase thermal comfort or climate resilience.