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Title: Investigating the impact of trees on airflow within street canyons through the use of CFD and field measurements
Author: Glover, N.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 5047
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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The local wind climate within the urban environment plays a key role in the removal of heat and pollutants from pedestrian occupied areas as well as having an impact on pedestrian comfort and safety. One component of the urban landscape which is often neglected in the consideration of airflow is tree planting which can constitute a major component of the built environment. The aim of this research was therefore to gain a greater understanding into the effect of tree planting on airflow within street canyons and investigate the use of CFD modelling in predicting such effects. This aim was accomplished through the use of CFD modelling and field measurements of tree-lined and non tree-lined streets. Tree canopies were represented within the CFD model by porous subdomains containing momentum and turbulence sinks. This simple representation was found to offer favourable comparison against field measurements and would therefore provide a simple and effective method for the inclusion of trees within CFD models of the urban environment. Results of both the CFD models and field measurements found reduced wind speeds at pedestrian level as well as a significant reduction in vertical wind speeds at roof level within the tree-lined street. There was also seen to be a significant reduction in turbulence levels within the street containing trees. Based on these findings it can be concluded that trees are likely to be a useful aid in urban design helping to reduce high wind speeds and turbulence thus creating outdoor environments which are comfortable and safe for pedestrian use. However the results also indicate that the addition of trees to streets can reduce the amount of air exchange at roof top level that occurs and thus may lead to a reduction in natural ventilation and potential build-up of pollutants within pedestrian occupied areas.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available