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On the contribution of mean flow and turbulence to city breathability: the case of long streets with tall buildings
University of Hong Kong and Guangzhou University.
University of Hong Kong.
University of Salento, Italy.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Building science - installation technology. (Inomhusmiljö)
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2012 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 416, p. 362-373Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper analyses the contribution of mean flow and turbulence to city breathability within urban canopy layers under the hypothesis that winds from rural/marine areas are sources of clean air (inhale effect) and main contributors to local-scale pollutant dilution (exhale effect). Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations, several idealized long streets flanked by tall buildings are investigated for wind flow parallel to the street axis. Aspect ratios (building height/street width) ranging from 2 to 4 and street lengths ranging from neighborhood scales (~. 1. km in full scale) to city scales (~. 10. km in full scale) are analyzed. To assess the inhale effect, the age of air concept is applied to quantify the time taken by a parcel of rural/marine air to reach a reference location within the urban canopy layer. To simulate the exhale effect, removal of pollutants released from a ground level source is considered. Numerical results agree with wind tunnel observations showing that a bulk portion of rural/marine air enters the streets through windward entries, a smaller part of it leaves through street roofs and the remaining fraction blows through the street aiding pollutant dilution. Substantial differences between neighborhood-scale and city-scale configurations are found. For neighborhood-scale models, pollutant removal by rural/marine air is mainly associated to mean flow along the streets. Breathability improves in streets flanked by taller buildings since in this case more rural/marine air is captured inside canyons leading to stronger wind along the street. For city-scale models, pollutant removal due to turbulent fluctuations across street roofs competes with that due to mean flows along the street. Breathability improves in streets flanked by lower buildings in which less rural/marine air is driven out and pollutant removal by turbulent fluctuations is more effective. Based on these findings, suggestions for ventilation strategies for urban areas with tall buildings are provided.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2012. Vol. 416, p. 362-373
Keywords [en]
Urban Ventilation, Men flow, turbulence, CFD, Wind tunnel
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-11197DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.12.016ISI: 000301155200041Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-849845788141OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-11197DiVA, id: diva2:472810
Available from: 2012-01-04 Created: 2012-01-04 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Sandberg, Mats

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