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Street geometry design and its effect on mean radiant temperature: A parametric study based on numerical modelling

Poster
Authors Kevin Ka-Lun Lau
Sofia Thorsson
Fredrik Lindberg
Björn Holmer
Published in ICUC9 – 9 th International Conference on Urban Climate jointly with 12th Symposium on the Urban Environment. 20-24 July 2015, Toulouse, France
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Language en
Links www.meteo.fr/cic/meetings/2015/ICUC...
Subject categories Physical Geography, Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, Climate Research

Abstract

The spatial variation of hotspots, in terms of their locations and magnitude, is examined in the present study, using the Solar and LongWave Environmental Irradiance Geometry (SOLWEIG) model. The effect of street geometry design parameters such as H/W ratios and street orientations on the radiant heat load are analyzed for three European cities with different regional climatic conditions. Various physical configurations of street trees are examined for their corresponding potential in mitigating the radiant heat load within urban structures. Findings suggest that a dense urban structure (H/W ratio ≥ 2) is capable of reducing radiant heat load at street level. High H/W ratios do not only reduce the magnitude of hotspots, but also changes their spatial distribution. The N-S canyons are found to be more favourable than the E-W canyons since they limit sun exposure to several hours at noon, despite of the diminishing difference between two orientations when H/W ratio increases. Diagonal streets reduce the magnitude of hotspots but increase the areas affected by moderately high mean radiant temperature (Tmrt). NE-SW orientated streets exhibits higher average hourly Tmrt during daytime since they are largely sun-exposed at the hottest time of the day. The highest mitigating effect of street trees is found when they are located in the sunlit areas. The reduction in average Tmrt decreases with increasing H/W ratios but considerable mitigating effect is still observed in the NE-SW orientations. It is also observed that larger tree crowns, even with higher spacing between individual trees, provide better shading than closely placed trees with smaller tree crowns. The present study provides information about the locations and magnitude of hotspots in different urban settings as well as the design of street trees as a mitigation measure to radiant heat load. It helps urban planners and designers to better design neighbourhoods in order to improve pedestrian thermal comfort within urban areas.

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