Assessing the Pedestrian Wind Environment: The Role of Urban Morphology
The evaluation of the urban wind environment has been receiving increasing attention as it has been associated with issues related to the quality of the urban climate, such as heat island intensity and air pollution, affecting health and wellbeing in large metropolitan areas. Focusing on the context of London, the purpose of this study was to identify the building geometrical and morphological characteristics that affect the pedestrian level wind environment and to evaluate their impact. For that purpose, more than 40 urban areas which demonstrate a variety of building configurations and typologies were examined through CFD simulations for statistically safe and accurate results to be extracted. The influence of the contextual parameters such as the wind climatic data, the landscape as well as the implementation of the wind criteria for comfort and safety was also assessed.
Using the findings of this study, architects and urban planners can have an indication about the current pedestrian level wind conditions at the site of their interest. Moreover, they can also predict the impact of their design on the pedestrian level wind conditions of the area around the new building or development. As a result, they will be able to adjust their design decisions from the early stages of the design, addressing any major problems that may arise. This will be particularly helpful for large buildings and major developments which may have a significant impact on the pedestrian level wind conditions, especially at the less dense parts of a city. As a result, the findings of this study can reduce the time necessary for wind studies as well as for the planning approvals and the completion of the projects, being beneficial for the stakeholders involved.