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Urban land surface temperature is an important indicator of the energy budget of urban underlying surface and local climate change. Remote sensing is an important tool to obtain urban land surface temperature at a large spatial scale. Remarkable urban three-dimensional structure and complex urban surface materials substantially influence the directional variation in upwelling thermal radiance. Thermal infrared remote sensing typically provides an average temperature (i.e., directional temperature) of all component surfaces in a sensor’s field of view at a specific viewing direction. The directional temperature varies with the sensor"s observation angle and differs from the true distribution of urban surface temperature. To better characterize the energy exchange between the urban underlying surface and the atmosphere, the term "complete surface temperature" was proposed to represent the characteristics of urban surface temperature. Currently, "complete surface temperature" has only made a breakthrough in describing the average state of urban surface temperature, but it still cannot reflect the high- resolution spatiotemporal characteristics of urban surface temperature, and cannot meet the needs of fine-scale assessments of urban thermal environment. In this review，we summarizes the development of urban surface remote sensing temperature from "directional temperature" (2-dimensional) to "complete surface temperature" (2.5-dimensional) and then to "3-dimensional surface temperature" (3-dimensional), as well as the current progress in using remote sensing directional observations to obtain urban surface temperature in different dimensions; Clarifies the differences and interrelationships of in different dimensions; The application of remotely-sensed urban surface temperature in different dimensions was also elaborated. On the basis of summarizing the existing problems, the future development trend of remotely-sensed urban surface temperature is pointed out: (1) definition of 3-dimensional urban surface temperature for different application purposes; (2) Stereoscopic observation for the reconstruction of 3-dimensional urban surface temperature and (3) coupling of 3-dimensional surface temperature products and urban climate models.